Five Mile Bay Water Funding
|November 4, 2020: Decision made on funding of Five Mile Bay water|
|Five Mile Bay residents will soon have the opportunity to access treated drinking water, following a Council decision this week on how it will fund the project.|
Read the full media release
Further background information about the consultation process and details of the decisions made on the four key issues are available below.
As part of the Long-term Plan 2018-28 (LTP), Council committed to building a water pipe in 2020/21, which would enable Five Mile Bay residents to connect to the Taupō water scheme.
Council undertook a survey in 2017 to understand whether there was demand from Five Mile Bay residents for the ability to connect to the Taupō water scheme. The results of the survey indicated that there was demand from some residents. In addition, sampling of some private water supplies in Five Mile Bay has shown issues such as high arsenic levels and bacteria contamination present in some of the private supplies.
The project will have positives for the residents of Five Mile Bay, with access to treated drinking water that is compliant with the Drinking Water Standards New Zealand, a potential increase in property values that occurs when a property is connected to a reticulated water scheme, and enhanced firefighting capacity. Five Mile Bay residents could see a decrease in their insurance bill relating to firefighting provisions, if a Council reticulated supply is available for firefighting purposes.
What will the project involve?
The project involves the construction of new water pipeline through Five Mile Bay, to allow residents to connect to the Taupō water scheme. The cost of the project is estimated to be $500,000, however the exact cost won’t be known until construction has been completed.
The purpose of this consultation was to find out how those who will be affected think the project should be funded.
We asked for feedback on four specific issues:
- Issue 1: Should the headworks contribution be charged?
- Issue 2: Should Five Mile Bay residents pay the capital costs?
- Issue 3: Should Five Mile Bay residents who choose to connect have to pay the $889 (incl. GST) connection fee?
- Issue 4: Should Five Mile Bay residents who don't connect to the Taupō water scheme be required to pay a targeted water half rate?
A detailed analysis of each issue is available in the consultation document below.
Submissions and hearings
Over the period 16 September to 19 October 2020, Council sought feedback from the community on how they thought that this project should be funded.
Council received 54 written submissions and heard from 3 submitters at hearings held on 3 November 2020.
The decision that Council made on each of the four issues raised in the consultation, and the reason/s why are detailed below.
Issue 1 – Should the headworks contribution be charged?
In the consultation document, Council’s preferred option was that Five Mile Bay residents do not pay the headworks charge. Submitters generally supported Council’s preferred option.
Council’s decision was not to charge the headworks charge to Five Mile Bay residents.
Issue 2 – Should Five Mile Bay Residents pay the capital costs?
There were three options identified in the consultation document for this issue. Council’s preferred option was that all Five Mile Bay residents would pay the capital costs as a targeted rate, spread over 25 years.
Council received mixed feedback on this option including both support for this option, and other submitters who felt that Five Mile Bay residents should not have to pay the capital charge.
In response to the feedback from submitters, Council decided to reduce the amount of the capital charge that Five Mile Bay residents will have to pay to $250,000. The remaining $250,000 capital charge will be funded by residents connected to the Taupō water scheme.
The capital charge will be funded via a targeted rate which will be spread over 25 years. The targeted rate will be paid by all Five Mile Bay ratepayers, whether or not they choose to connect. The targeted rate is anticipated to be $120 per year, inclusive of GST.
Issue 3 – Should Five Mile Bay Residents who choose to connect have to pay the $889 connection fee?
Council’s preferred option was to waive the connect fee for Five Mile Bay residents who choose to connect at the time of construction. Submitters were generally supportive of this option.
Council decided to waive the connection fee for Five Mile Bay residents who notify Council of their intention to connect to the water scheme. Council will send out further correspondence to residents prior to 31 December 2020 with information on how residents will be able to connect.
Issue 4 – Should Five Mile Bay residents who don’t connect to the Taupō Water Scheme be required to pay a targeted water half charge?
Council’s preferred option in the consultation document was that residents who did not choose to connect to the Taupō water scheme would pay a targeted water half charge. The half charge water targeted rate for 2020/21 is $246.55. This is consistent with Council policy, which requires those who are within 100m of Council services to pay a half charge, even if they are not connected.
Council decided to charge the targeted water half charge to those who do not choose to connect to the Taupō water scheme.
Where to from here?
It is planned that construction of the pipeline, which will enable Five Mile bay residents to connect to the Taupō scheme, will occur between February and April 2021. Council will contact landowners before 31 December 2020 to outline the next steps of this process, including how landowners can advise us on whether they would like to connect to the scheme.