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Public Meeting to Discuss Sample Roof Fed Tank Quotes

Public Meeting to Discuss Sample Roof Fed Tank Quotes

A final decision on the future supply of drinking water in Ohura is moving closer with a public meeting scheduled to discuss sample quotes for the roof fed tank option.

The meeting scheduled for 3.30pm on Tuesday 4th February at the Ohura Community Hall follows on from the public meeting in September last year that discussed the results of the ‘preferred option survey’ which found a majority of residents supporting a roof fed tank option as an alternative to the current scheme.

Ruapehu District Council (RDC) Chief Executive said that council has targeted the middle of the year for achieving a firm and final decision on Ohura’s drinking water supply issue.

“This meeting is the next step in a detailed plan that has involved the review, assessment and comparison of alternative options as well as widespread consultation with key stakeholders including the Ministry of Health, the Medical Officer of Health, the Fire Service and the Ohura community.

“It has been recognised for a long time that the current Ohura drinking water supply scheme is unsustainable in its current form,” he said.

“The issue of too small a number of permanent residents is exacerbated by other factors such as low incomes, the age and run down state of the water pipes, the low quality of the water, high operational and depreciation costs and other issues.”

“Many Ohura residents are already finding their rates severely unaffordable with about a third of all Ohura rates not being paid in any one year which passes the burden on to all other Ruapehu ratepayers.”

Mr Till noted that discussion and consultation with the community on finding a long term viable solution has been going on since 2000 but despite deliberation by council, numerous public meetings, surveys and significant expenditure finding a viable solution has proved elusive.

“The meeting of 4th February will discuss the quotes sourced from local Ruapehu plumbing firms for the installation of roof fed systems on six sample properties in Ohura and a Health Impact Assessment that is expected from the Waikato District Health Board.”

“The sample property quote prices vary widely from $12,000 to a $100,000 depending on the individual property and its needs,” he said.

“This stemmed from the sample properties being quite different in what they needed to allow water to be collected from their roof.”

“As well as a water tank a property may require pumps, filter systems, electrical work, new guttering and even a new roof in addition to any ground work or building required to install the tank.”

Mr Till added that the work done so far highlights that a lot more work is required with the cooperation of the community to clearly identify individual property needs in order to allow more accurate pricing to be obtained from an open tender process.

“The actual final costs to residents for a roof fed tank solution will depend a lot on what each resident wants or needs so will vary from home to home,” he said.

“The quoted prices on the sample properties look high compared to the costs council obtained from the West Coast District Council for a similar project they undertook around three years ago.”

“In the West Coast case the actual costs per household ended up being between $1,000 and $7,000 with an average cost of $2,500.”

“The West Coast District Council made finance packages available with a maximum yearly repayment of up to $600 which half of Ohura’s current yearly water charges.”

Mr Till said that the plan and timing going forward after the February 4th meeting is for a ‘formal options paper’ to be discussed and signed off by council during March.

“This will confirm the options council will go to the community with as part of a Special Consultative Procedure (SCP) from mid-March to mid-April where residents and other stakeholders will have the opportunity to make formal submissions.”

“The outcome of the SCP will be a referendum targeted for between April and June to produce a binding decision,” he said.


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