June WMRA meeting recap

A great turnout at tonight’s meeting which included a couple of guest speakers too. Key topics discussed at the meeting were as follows.

150th Celebrations
Nicky Parker presented a thorough run-down on progress from the 150th sub committee.  A new Historical Farm Day event is being planned for September 19, 20 & 21.  This event will be a precursor to the Labour weekend celebrations, with the purpose of displaying farm equipment and older farming activities in operation on a West Melton Rd farm.  This will involve both the Ellesmere Ploughing Club and a local Vintage Car Club.  Planning for the grand parade is going well and VIP invitations for the main events are being coordinated now.  These will include dignitaries from central and local government as well as leaders from within the community.  Ideas for the type of cornerstone that would be blessed at the commemorative service were also discussed.  Nicky indicated that tickets for the Black Tie Ball and Westie Shin Dig would go on sale shortly and are expected to sell very quickly.

Millennium fountain
Peter Stafford spoke, initially with some background on the millennium fountain – how it was conceived and why it was put at the current location.  Peter recapped the public fountain meeting from May 19, emphasizing how the fountain was actually community property and in need of maintenance and repositioning to public land.  Research had been done into the cost of repairs and relocation – an initiative that WMRA decided to back, agreeing to initially fund to the value of $1,500.  Several locations were discussed for the final location of the fountain, with the decision being deferred to a later time.  Peter hopes to have the fountain restored and positioned in its final place before the 150th celebrations commence.

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Cellphone tower
Bruce Russell presented the state of developments for the local cell phone tower, supported by Mark Alexander. Vodafone now has building consent for a 25m tower at the site of the original structure and will commence construction very soon. The 32m tower hearing in the environmental court is still open, but adjourned to a later date. Vodafone has indicated that it will pursue the case for the 32m tower should the coverage from the 25m tower not meet their expectations.

Water
Mark Alexander presented a letter from SDC Assets Manager for Water Murray England which discussed recent water supply outages in the town. The letter outlined why the outages were occurring and how recent changes to made by Sicon have resolved the issue. The letter described a water quality issue with the last untreated well in the town which has now been switched off, reducing the town supply back to two wells. Murray indicated the possibility that chlorination of this water source may be needed as an interim solution on the path to UV treatment and full filtration. More details are available in the letter here.

War Memorial
Shane Dawson spoke about a war memorial he is intending to build at the West Melton School. The town currently has no memorial despite a list of locals who served in WWI, WWII and other conflicts having emerged in recent years. Shane described the enthusiasm of the Templeton RSA to back the project and outlined how 22 of the servicemen had attended West Melton School. The memorial will likely be assembled using stones from the Rakaia, Selwyn & Waimakariri Rivers and include an A4 sized plaque with service men’s names and an inscription. The memorial will be placed near the school flag pole and paid for by a students fund raising event. WMRA welcomed the construction of the memorial in the town and supported Shane’s project.

In order to support the volume of work required for the 150th celebrations, the association has decided to reduce the time between meetings. The next meeting will be on July 9 at 7:30.