Water bill caps on cross leases
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.