$7000 berm bill sent in to council

By Zaryd Wilson zaryd wilson@wanganuichronicle co nz -

A resident has sent a cheeky $7000 bill to Rangitikei District Council for mowing the grass outside their property.

But the council insists it will not be coughing up the money.

Messages recently circulating on social media in Marton advised residents they could charge the council $20 each time they mowed the berm outside their property.

The $7000 invoice sent in by one ratepayer was for 10 years of work keeping the berm tidy - and council has been told by some residents to expect more.

While berms are council- owned land, it does not consider itself liable to pay for their upkeep.

"It's fair to say we won't be paying it," council general manager of infrastructure Hamish Waugh said.

"That's how it is - we don't have that level of service."

The rates hike needed to pay for such a service would be "massive", he said.

Mr Waugh said council would probably only mow berms if one of them became a traffic or fire risk.

A council Facebook post said: "It is a long-standing practice for residents in cities/towns/villages across New Zealand to mow the grass verge in front of their property ... as this is considered part and parcel of being a good citizen."

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