South Waikato ratepayers are urged to have their say on plans for wastewater plant improvements at four sites in the district under a Special Consultative Process (SCP) signalled in the Long Term Plan.
The plants are at Tokoroa, Putaruru, Tirau and Arapuni.
"These changes are designed to help us better protect the Waikato and Waihou rivers and local waterways, provide for population growth, gain new resource consents for the plants and ensure we are complying with regional rules," says South Waikato District Council Acting Chief Executive Ben Smit.
Council has worked with its main iwi partner Raukawa Charitable Trust, a number of other local iwi and interested stakeholders to develop a preferred option for the way forward at the wastewater plants, which includes plant upgrades and the use of new wetlands. Another two options are also being consulted on under the SCP.
Engineering estimates put the capital expenditure cost of the preferred option between $21 million and $29 million between next year and 2045. Final estimates won't be available until after detailed design work.
The upgrade would be paid for by increasing the targeted wastewater charge for urban ratepayers over time. Under the preferred option, the rating impact is estimated to be a few dollars per property next financial year (2019-20), rising to an average household cost of $361 per year (in 10 years' time). The total rate increase over the next 10 years is 19%. This does not mean a 19% rate increase each year!
"We're very aware of the need to balance meeting our responsibilities over water quality with keeping rate increases down as much as possible," said Mr Smit. "We'll listen very carefully to what people have to say as they give us feedback on our plans."
Have your say (orange button Say It, on the right).