Milton residents are being encouraged to get involved in a community process aimed at better managing the area’s flood risk.
The Otago Regional Council (ORC) and Clutha District Council (CDC) set up a joint working party in 2007 to study flooding in the area, and have developed a draft Milton 2060 flood risk management strategy.
ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead and Clutha District Mayor Bryan Cadogan said the strategy aimed to help the community understand the effects of future flooding and be better prepared for it.
“The plan will also ensure that the way land is used does not increase flood risk and that the existing risks to the community are reduced,” Mr Woodhead and Mr Cadogan said.
The strategy proposes a range of measures, including carrying out further flood protection works to reduce flood levels, implementing land use planning to reduce the risk to people and property, and the community taking responsibility for preparing for future flooding. It takes a long-term view, looking ahead to the next 50 years.
Milton has a history of flooding dating back to European settlement in the 1850s.
Most recently, extensive flooding occurred in 2006, 2007, and 2010. During the 2007 event more than 100 residential properties were affected.
“It is not sustainable for the community to be constantly exposed to such a high level of risk, which is why we are acting now to try and minimise it for everyone’s benefit. Regular floods have, over many years, caused distress and disruption to people’s lives. It’s time we all looked at the options for improving this situation,” Mr Woodhead and Mr Cadogan said.
The two councils are seeking input from local residents and landowners on the strategy before they formally re-consider the document .
A public meeting will be held on Tuesday (April 24) in the Milton Coronation Hall at 7pm. Information sessions open to everyone will also be held on Thursday (April 26) from 12pm to 2pm, and from 4pm to 8pm, also at the Coronation Hall.
Mr Woodhead and Mr Cadogan said councillors and staff from both councils would be available at these events to discuss the strategy and get feedback so that people’s views could be incorporated into the final document.
“This process is all about ensuring Milton continues to grow and prosper, and that people have an environment that is as safe as possible to live in,” they said.
“We urge people to take this opportunity and have their say on this critically important issue for Milton’s future.”