It is bad enough that the Tasman District Council ratepayers are to subside irrigators’ cost of water augmentation, but worse that already the guarantee to limit the cost for irrigators agreed to by weak kneed TDC leadership will certainly be called on.
It is appalling ratepayers have to learn by way of media release from Waimea Irrigators that the estimated build cost of the Waimea dam has increased and ratepayers will foot $4.2 million more cost while irrigators will face only $1.5 million.
Reality will really strike home when a proper budget is prepared which will almost certainly have a price tag upwards of $120 million.
Even worse as the share of running costs are proposed to be linked to ‘‘shareholding’’ and the true cost to run the dam becomes known the gouging of ratepayers will increase further.
The proposed capital raising is a farce. It should be for the full equity share not less than half of it so that ratepayers will not have to be called on to underpin the irrigator debt by way of guarantee as well. This ongoing comedy needs to come to an end.