Wa­ter bill caps on cross leases

Te Awamutu Courier - - News -

Coun­cil­lors have unan­i­mously agreed to cap wa­ter bills for a small num­ber of Waipa¯ cross-lease house­holds dis­ad­van­taged by cross-lease is­sues.

Last Novem­ber the Coun­cil de­cided prop­er­ties with shared wa­ter me­ters, most of them older, cross-lease prop­er­ties, would have their bill split equally be­tween those con­nected. Most (86 per cent across the dis­trict) pay less now for wa­ter ser­vices than when a flat rate of $405.60 per prop­erty was charged.

But around 140 res­i­den­tial prop­er­ties are fi­nan­cially dis­ad­van­taged by split bills, pos­si­bly through no fault of their own. Coun­cil sought feed­back from the com­mu­nity in July on a po­ten­tial wa­ter re­mis­sions pol­icy to as­sist them.

Coun­cil sent in­for­ma­tion di­rectly to all 1100 com­plex prop­erty own­ers and asked for fur­ther in­put. Feed­back was re­ceived from 68 sub­mit­ters, 47 in sup­port of a wa­ter re­mis­sion pol­icy, 10 against and 11 neu­tral.

Coun­cil agreed to put an in­terim wa­ter re­mis­sion pol­icy in place, en­sur­ing prop­er­ties which meet the cri­te­ria will have their wa­ter me­ter bill capped at a max­i­mum of $372 for the 2018/19 year.

The de­ci­sion will be re­viewed in time for the 2019/20 year as part of an over­all re­view of Coun­cil’s ap­proach to split bills.

Coun­cil discussed lend­ing to prop­erty own­ers to pay for any changes re­quired to pri­vate plumb­ing so wa­ter me­ters could be sep­a­rated.

About 84 prop­er­ties which had a shared me­ter have cho­sen to split their plumb­ing. Prop­erty own­ers pay pri­vate plumb­ing cost with Coun­cil in­stalling and pay­ing for a new me­ter at the bound­ary.

Coun­cil is con­sid­er­ing lend­ing up to a max­i­mum of $5000 to be paid back via a fixed, tar­geted rate.

De­tails of this will now be worked through be­fore feed­back is sought on this pro­posal as part of next year’s draft An­nual Plan.

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