Rotorua Lakes Council proposes unreasonable funding arrangements for Rotoiti/ Rotoma wastewater treatment.
This scheme has several stages of treatment typical of plants that discharge into lake catchments.
The decision is to locate the first pre-treatment stage at the individual properties. In contrast, the Rotorua Lake Basin's first stage of treatment is at the central location.
The Rotoiti/Rotoma strategy is appropriate as it reduces cost of reticulation and appeases cultural objection to raw effluent passing sensitive locations.
Unfortunately, the pre-treatment plants selected, purchased and maintained by council, have come, by virtue of being located on private properties, to be seen as a capital purchase by property owners.
This contrasts to Rotorua's Wastewater System where all stages of treatment are centralised and funded by all properties through rates.
Individual properties do not make a significant capital contribution, unlike the sum of $14,000 which is being requested by Council from each Rotoiti / Rotoma property owner.
The objective of all schemes in Lakes District is to ensure the lake waters are maintained at a quality suitable for recreational activities.
Users are residents and visitors who contribute to the effluent load. They should all contribute to the costs on the most equitable basis possible.
One way of achieving this is a uniform rate across all Rotorua District lakes' basins for all residential properties and visitor accommodation facilities.
The Rotoiti / Rotoma properties should not have to purchase part of the processing plant.
Connecting should not cost any more than connecting a property in Holden's Bay.
If the East Rotoiti/Rotoma lake residents want to pay off the capital cost of $14,100 for their sewerage scheme over 25 years, why do they have to pay, in my estimate, 10.28 per cent in combined annual costs of interest and levy, being a $1000 annual interest and $450 annual levy.
Council boasts that it gets a competitive interest rate on its loans of 4 per cent, so why don't they pass this cost onto the ratepayers?
They promise to try and keep as close to the budget of $14,100 cost to each household, but when have they ever kept close to a budget?
If council operates by the following saying by William Feather - the ratepayers are in trouble and won't be knocked over by a feather;
"A budget tells us what we can't afford, but it doesn't keep us from buying it."
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