Paper mill building report reassuring

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Knowing the former Mataura Paper Mill has withstood recent flooding with no new signs of damage is reassuring, Gore District Council chief executive Steve Parry says.

Mr Parry was speaking to a report he tabled at the Gore District Council meeting on Tuesday outlining the findings of WSP New Zealand Ltd principal engineer civil and structural Andrew Blacker, who visited the mill on February 6 and completed an inspection of the buildings.

Mr Parry said while the inspection was not detailed it had been done by a very experienced practitioner.

“I hope it gives the council and the wider community comfort that this building has been designed to withstand some pretty strong loads,” Mr Parry said.

The designers must have known the building would have to stand up to floodwaters.

“It has done that, so that’s at least some comfort if floodwaters arise again.

“Hopefully, by putting this out in the public arena the wider community is a bit more knowledgeable about the integrity of that building in a structural sense and hopefully will be a little less fearful that it may rupture in a future event. ”

In his report Mr Parry said the engineer’s assessment “provides a high degree of confidence that the building is well anchored with its massive reinforced concrete foundations

Mr Blacker’s assessment of the building was included in the report.

In it Mr Blacker said the buildings were old and deteriorating as was to be expected for their age, past use and recent lack of maintenance.

“However, in all cases no signs of new movement or distress were seen and nothing to indicate that the buildings are beginning to fail.”