Notice is hereby given that a Meeting of the Lumsden Community Development Area Subcommittee will be held on:
Monday, 17 June 2019
Southland District Council Lumsden Office
Lumsden Community Development Area Subcommittee Agenda - Late Items
Lumsden Community Development Area Subcommittee
17 June 2019
8.3 Unbudgeted Expenditure for Felling of the Trees at the Lumsden Camping Ground 3
Lumsden Community Development Area Subcommittee
17 June 2019
Record No: R/19/6/11289
Author: Greg Erskine, Community Facilities Contract Manager
Approved by: Matt Russell, Group Manager Services and Assets
☒ Decision ☐ Recommendation ☐ Information
1 The purpose of this report is to provide the Lumsden Community Development Subcommittee (the Subcommittee) with the costs and revenue options for felling the trees on the Iona Street boundary of the Lumsden camping ground and request the required approval to proceed.
2 An issue was raised by the new tenants of the Lumsden Camping Ground regarding the safety of some of the trees on the site. The report proposes a plan and associated costs to remove the Pine and Douglas-fir trees at the Lumsden camping ground in the area of the Iona Street boundary.
3 The Subcommittee considered an arborist’s report on the matter at its meeting on 8 April 2019 and subsequently resolved to receive a report with possible cost and revenue options for felling the trees.
4 Based on discussions with the contractor, it is hoped that revenue of approximately $5,000 may be realised from the exercise. However, in the interests of financial prudence, it is recognised that unforeseeable removal conditions, or timber volumes may result in costs exceeding revenue. As such, it is recommended that an unbudgeted expenditure allowance of up to $5,000 is provided for.
That the Lumsden Community Development Area Subcommittee:
a) Receives the report titled “Unbudgeted Expenditure for Felling of the Trees at the Lumsden Camping Ground” dated 17 June 2019.
b) Determines that this matter or decision be recognised not significant in terms of Section 76 of the Local Government Act 2002.
c) Determines that it has complied with the decision-making provisions of the Local Government Act 2002 to the extent necessary in relation to this decision; and in accordance with Section 79 of the Act determines that it does not require further information, further assessment of options or further analysis of costs and benefits or advantages and disadvantages prior to making a decision on this matter.
d) Approves the project to remove the trees at Lumsden Camping Ground in the area of the Iona Street boundary.
e) Approves any resultant income be placed in the Lumsden General Reserve.
f) Approves in the interest of financial prudence, should circumstances arise where costs exceed revenue, an unbudgeted expenditure allowance of up to $5,000 is provided for from the Lumsden General Reserve.
5 A query was raised by the new leasee of the Lumsden camping ground regarding the safety of the trees on the Iona Street boundary.
6 The Council received a report from an arborist, Marty McKelvie, for the Lumsden camping ground trees. See below:
7 “A double belt of mature conifers on the north-west boundary of the grounds. The front row of trees nearest the camping ground are Douglas-firs that are approximately 100 years old, 30 in total They are structurally sound, apart from broken branches which are mostly hung up in the trees, this is typical of firs with their brittle branch nature and will continue over time as the wind gets inside the canopy and continues the process. A potential hazard exists in high wind situations for humans, vehicles, etc. but I would put this in the minimal to low risk level. These trees are otherwise healthy and firs can happily last 500 years plus in life span. One of the trees in the south end overhangs the power lines to the camp ground posing a risk of power failure if branches fail.
8 The rear row of trees consist of pines around the same age. The life span of pines is around the 100-150 year mark, before rot, failure, or decline is evident. In this line of pines I have identified 2 trees with included stems (steep angled stems that have the potential to tear and cause major damage). There are also another 7 trees with large pockets of rot around the 3-5 metre mark, which poses a substantial risk of failure in high wind situations. Also 1 heavy leaner which would be likely to uproot. The risk to the camping ground is, if one of these trees fails it could punch through between the firs and with their weight and height could cause considerable damage. At present these trees are sound but given their age and condition I would place them in the high risk of failure in the future.
9 Removing the pines and leaving the firs would be a difficult process as damage would occur to the firs during felling, and also letting the wind into the firs after the pine removal would result in major wind damage to the firs. Unfortunately the best option would be for complete removal of all trees if complete risk to the camping ground is the goal. Regular checking of all trees after and high winds is recommended until action can be taken. Thankyou. Marty’s Tree Care. Marty Mckelvie NZQA Registered Arborist”.
10 This issue was covered in the Chairman’s report to the Subcommittee on 8 April 2019. At that meeting the primary purpose of that report was to advise the Subcommittee of the arborist’s report and noted the arborist's recommendation that the trees be felled for safety reasons.
11 At the meeting the Subcommittee resolved that the Subcommittee receive a report with possible cost and revenue options for the felling of the trees.
12 Information was forwarded to Council’s forestry consultant, IFS, to assess the likely market return for the felling and removal of the trees at the Lumsden camping ground.
13 Information was also sought from a company that fells the trees and chips the surplus slash and tidies up the site.
Scope of Work
14 The scope of the project includes removing the Pine and Douglas-fir trees on the Iona Street boundary, traffic management, ground and fencing reinstatement (if required).
physical work includes removal and disposal of all the trees in the areas
around Iona Street.
It also includes removal off-site of all the trees and slash excluding the stumps.
16 The third element of the work is ground preparation and replanting to mitigate the exposure to the prevailing winds for the camping ground.
17 The issue now is whether the Subcommittee is prepared to resolve to proceed with the project to remove the trees and landscape the area.
18 The Council report assumes the project will be a Lumsden CDA project and the Subcommittee will fund the cost of the physical works (if any). The forecast income from IFS for the trees is $6,700 but this does not include site tidy up. Fencing of the boundary (approximately 190 metres) has not been considered.
19 The forecast from the Wood Chipper company is net return of $5,000 which includes site tidy up and leaving the stumps in place.
Factors to Consider
Legal and Statutory Requirements
20 Health and Safety legislation applies. Council has requirements under the Health and Safety at Work Act. These responsibilities depend on the status of the site and the activities occurring on it. The main issue being whether or not the site is deemed a work site at the time. When the site is a work site, Council has the responsibilities of a PCBU under the Act.
21 A PCBU has a primary duty of care to ensure, so far as reasonably practicable, the health and safety of:
· workers who work for the PCBU while they are at work;
· workers whose activities in carrying out the work are influenced or directed by the PCBU while the workers are carrying out the work; and
· that the health and safety of any other person is not put at risk from the work being carried out.
22 There are times when the site will clearly be a work site, such as when Council staff or contractors are carrying out maintenance in the area.
23 There has been no specific community consultation on this matter. The project is not included in the LTP.
Costs and Funding
24 IFS has carried out an assessment and estimate a net return of $6,770 (logs only, excluding reinstatement and tidy). Traffic management, power line shutdown, and associated clean-up costs are not included. There are roughly 252 tonnes in this block which would take about five working days to complete.
25 There is a positive return if the community is considering what these two rows of trees could be worth if harvested. The Pines have been taking all of the weather so there is not a lot of tonnage expected from them. The Douglas-fir is anticipated to be more valuable in terms of return.
26 The intention would be to load trucks on the gravel road alongside the tree line to the West (Iona Street). There are a number of safety zones to manage with the camp, roads, and neighbouring properties and power lines all being within the two tree lengths. As such, there will be a lot of digger assistance to directionally fell the trees.
Site tidy up for the above option would really depend on what is acceptable, could be $3-5,000. Options from IFS could be:
1. Pile and burn (anticipated as too close to town),
2. Open up for firewood with locals,
3. Put all materials into a long windrow down the boundary (could be the cheapest (1 day with a digger - $2,000)
27 The forecast from the Wood Chipper company is a net return of $5,000 which includes site tidy up and leaving the stumps in place.
28 Although not anticipated to be required, a sum of $5000 is proposed to be set aside as unbudgeted expenditure from the Lumsden General Reserve to account for any unforeseeable conditions that may arise through the delivery of the works. This is due to the estimated nature of the work, rather than a fixed cost outcome. These funds will also allow for reinstatement options following completion of the work if so desired.
29 At an operational level the financial delegations and the terms of reference for Community Development Area Subcommittees are relevant. Both of these require unbudgeted expenditure of this level to be approved by the Council.
30 The options are to proceed with the project or to continue to manage the trees.
Analysis of Options
Option 1 - Remove the trees and reinstate the area via Wood chipping company
· The trees are removed and the risks they present are removed.
· Camping ground exposed to the prevailing wind.
Option 2 – Remain with the status quo
· Shelter retained for the camping ground.
· The trees will present an ongoing risk (manageable) and ultimately will have to be removed for safety reasons.
Assessment of Significance
31 The matter is not considered significant in terms of the Council’s Significance and Engagement Policy.
32 Given it is anticipated that there will be no cost to the Subcommittee, approval of Option 1 is the recommended option.
33 Work up a more complete scope of work, including landscaping details, obtain Subcommittee approval for the plan and then procure the services to deliver the works.
There are no attachments for this report.