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Friday 9 October, 2020
The Rakaia Salmon Site on State Highway One has long been a focal point for residents and a well-used stop off for travellers, and today a major upgrade to the reserve was unveiled as the brand new public toilets were officially opened.
The Council has finished replacing the old facilities with a new 10-pan public toilet block as part of $958,000 worth of upgrades across the reserve.
Other enhancements underway include new plantings and footpaths, while new playground equipment, information board signage, seating, lighting and solar powered rubbish bins are on the way as well.
Ashburton District Mayor Neil Brown said it was a relief for Rakaia to have new facilities that will have better capacity to meet increased demand, especially from visitors to the district.
"Pre-COVID-19, Rakaia was seeing bus loads of visitors stopping to use the facilities and even now that's continuing to some extent. The old facilities were struggling to meet demand, and as the gateway to Mid Canterbury from the north, it's important Rakaia can put its best foot forward.
"I have no doubt these enhancements will be a very welcome improvement for our residents and visitors."
The Council has invested $198,000 from pre-existing budgets to complete the upgrades, which was further aided by a $740,000 grant from the Government's Tourism Infrastructure Fund and a generous $20,000 donation from the Rakaia Lions.
The enhancements were consulted on with the community in September 2019 before final planning work was signed off. Ground works officially started in March 2020.
Watch footage of the ribbon cutting here: