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Roof Fed Tanks Preferred Survey Option for Ohura Water

30 August 2013

Roof Fed Tanks Preferred Survey Option for Ohura Water

Responses to Ruapehu District Council’s (RDC) survey on preferred options for the future supply of drinking water in Ohura show a preference for roof fed water tanks.

RDC is committed to making a final decision on the future supply of drinking water in Ohura with the current scheme being unsustainable in its current form.

RDC Chief Executive, Peter Till, said that because of the issues with its reticulated water scheme Ohura rates are already amongst the highest in NZ and this is with a significant cross-subsidy from other Ruapehu ratepayers.

“Ohura residents have been asked to consider four alternative options being; roof fed tanks, community operation of the water supply, an explicit subsidy or a flat water rate across the district.”

“Of the survey responses received 61% are in favour of roof fed tanks and 39% are in favour of a flat water rate spread across the district,” he said.

“There has been no support for either an explicit subsidy or for community operation of the water scheme.”

Mr Till said that whatever option is finally decided upon because of the legislation involved there is a prescribed process that must be followed requiring council to undertake a special consultative procedure open to the whole district.

“This means council needs to issue a full Statement of Proposal and request submissions from affected parties that are then considered by all elected members before a final decision is made.”

“Although there is some evidence of fatigue amongst Ohura residents on the issue due to length of time it has been on the table it is important people recognise that council is committed to changing the current supply situation,” he said.

“Pressure for a viable solution is beginning to be felt from other Ruapehu ratepayers who object to subsidising the Ohura water supply especially when around a third of Ohura rates are not being paid and the costs are increasing every year.”

Mr Till noted that the costs for tank installation provided in the survey information given to residents are very indicative only which were based on a single quote.

“Because of the size of this project council would hope to get a lot better prices than those indicated in the survey documents following an open tender process,” he said.

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

“Council has obtained the costs from a similar situation two years ago on the West Coast where residents voted to have roof fed tanks installed following a special consultative procedure.”

“The actual costs per household ended up being between $1,000 to $7,000 with an average cost of $2,500.”

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

Mr Till said that the next step is the community meeting at 3.30pm at the Ohura Hall on Thursday 12 September which council is urging as many residents as possible to attend.

ENDS

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