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Waimea Dam consultation process to begin next week

October 9th, 2014
[TDC press release]

A special consultative process related to the proposed Waimea Community Dam will begin next Monday, 13th October. (See our earlier story.)

Closing on 14th November, the Tasman District Council is consulting with ratepayers and residents on the proposed funding and governance options for the dam.

A Statement of Proposal and Summary of Information was adopted at today's Council meeting. This set out the Funding and Governance options with some information for context, and identifies Council's preferred options. A decision whether or not to build the dam will be made in June next year.

"The distribution of this information and the feedback we are seeking are vital to the Council's decision-making process," says Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne.

"Like any other major project, it is not possible to decide whether or not to proceed without having all the options identified and all the information required. This consultation is an important step towards making that decision next year.

"We recognise that residents and ratepayers may want to know how the proposed funding models affect them personally. Unfortunately we are not at that stage. We will be able to respond to that once the estimated cost of the dam has been firmed up and the Long Term Plan 2015-2025 is prepared.

"In the meantime the rating impact on a range of properties has been modelled. The modelling uses dam costs of $60M and $80M, but does not take into account possible support from the Government, Nelson City Council or other bodies."

These scenarios will give people an idea of what they could face under either of the options.

The Summary of Information is being sent to all ratepayers and residents of Tasman District. The Summary of Information and Statement of Proposal will be available in Council offices and libraries and online.

The Council has also created a dedicated website which will be turned on Monday 13th and provide information regarding this consultation and provide the history and technical material related to the proposed dam. The web address is www.waimeacommunitydam.co.nz. There are links also from the Council's website www.tasman.govt.nz .

Public meetings and information sessions are being held throughout the District over the consultation period.

Mayor Kempthorne says "I urge all Tasman ratepayers and residents to take part in the funding and governance consultation."

TDC will hold two information and consultation meetings at Motueka Memorial Hall on Tuesday, 29th October; an information session from 3.00pm to 5.00pm, and a public meeting to hear feedback from 7.00pm to 9.00pm.

 



Comment by Ron Nuttall:
[Posted 14 October 2014]

Over the next month the Tasman District Council are generously offering us the ratepayer the opportunity to learn and to make submissions on how they wish the costs of the proposed Waimea Community Dam would be financed.

There are elected representatives including the mayor who have already stated that the dam must go ahead so one must wonder how any public view contrary to that of the councillors might be received.

The costs of the dam is increasing all the time so any costs reported today will be minimal to the final costs we the ratepayer will be made responsible for.

Councils in other areas of New Zealand have determined that the public good portion of returning river flows to be the responsibility of and therefore a cost to the irrigators. After all it is these water users who have and will in the future gain directly from the water. In our case the Tasman District council have decided that once again the general ratepayer will subsidise commercial interests and pay the council's predetermined 30% public good percentage of the dam.

The council states that the 30% public good portion added to the uniform annual general charge UAGC at present costs will be a charge per property of between $100 and $150 per property. (This is a large differential.)

The writer suggests that as in the past council estimates have been under estimating the costs, therefore future costs may well be in excess of $200 per property per year, and as interest rates increase so to will the yearly costs. I have not yet seen any estimates of maintenance costs.

In fact there are many costs that either are not yet calculated or not for public viewing.

Surely the TDC can recognise that the original public good of the river was taken away (robbed) by the water users and therefore it is these users that should bear the costs of returning the public good portion back to the rivers.

What a shame that not one TDC councillor has the fortitude to call for a division so that there is a record of how our elected representatives vote in each situation.

Keep going, we're not bankrupt yet.



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