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Source: Auckland Council

Spare a thought for Auckland Council’s Community Facilities Franklin team who have dealt with about 3300 calls for service in 10 months.

Leaky taps are daily occurrences, with 537 plumbing calls ahead of tree maintenance on 442, structural maintenance at 321, 267 electrical problems and the 226 carpentry maintenance calls that rounded out the top five.

Franklin Local Board chair Andy Baker says the team is one of the hardest working groups in council, with the region’s heavy workloads made more difficult because of the area’s size.

“Our people can have hundreds of requests on the go and be working on one side of Franklin at Whitford, while someone is waiting to see them on the Awhitu Peninsula.”

The community facilities team must report to the board each month and for April, a ‘typical’ month, 277 requests were dealt with.

Performance is monitored to determine response times and the effectiveness of the measures taken, with Franklin scoring well, contractors singled out for successfully managing autumn growth.

An indication of the type of work being completed included the removal of Jubilee Pool’s 60-year-old sand filters, part of a filter and pump replacement project that will see the plant room foundations and floor upgraded to take new filters.

At Karaka, the cricket wicket renovation required soil samples to be taken and analysed, 10 cubic metres of grass and soil to be planed off and replaced with the same amount of fresh topsoil worked into place and laser-levelled before grass was applied and fertilised. A growth blanket was applied and now regular mowing should ensure a dense turf takes hold.

At Grahams Beach pohotukawa obstructing boat launches were trimmed, and at Clarks an uprooted that tree fell during high winds was cut into logs for residents to use.

At Matakawau Plantation Reserve, possum mapping was going on to determine appropriate control measures, while at Kawakawa Bay boat ramp, dredging to remove mud and sediment build-up causing navigational issues and forcing the eastern pontoon to settle awkwardly was completed. The next phase of work will see pontoons and piles replaced and the accessway and hardstand renewed.

“They really are unsung heroes because they are also the people making sure the toilets are clean, sorting out playgrounds and hundreds of other little things that mean a huge network of assets and facilities remain up to scratch for everyone to use,” Baker says.