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Published: 2010-04-14 00:00:00

Environment Waikato is seeking community feedback on a proposed change to the way stream channel maintenance is funded in Coromandel town and Waiomu.

The aim of the change in EW’s Draft Annual Plan is to address a technical issue and allow rates paid under the scheme to remain largely unchanged for individual property owners, when compared to rates set between 2004 and 2009.

A targeted rate was established for these communities in 2004 to fund regular stream maintenance as a means of flood mitigation. The rate on direct and indirect beneficiaries of the schemes has also funded maintenance of capital assets such as channel protection works when constructed.

During the 2009-2019 Long Term Council Community Plan process it was identified that the targeted rate funding policy for stream channel maintenance rating in Coromandel town and Waiomu was not being applied correctly. It was corrected as part of the recent Long Term Plan process.

The result was a significant increase in rates during 2009-10 for around 230 properties receiving direct benefit from the schemes in the Waiomu-Pohue and Coromandel communities, the majority in Coromandel town. This was considered to be too great an increase as it placed undue financial hardship on these ratepayers, and that ongoing stream maintenance provides benefit to all properties within each town.

After a policy review, it is now proposed that the targeted rate for the stream channel maintenance part of the scheme for Coromandel town and Waiomu be funded via the existing indirect benefit rating system, consistent with the broad benefit of these works to all ratepayers within each town.

It is anticipated that this way of doing things would leave individual property owner’s rates bills for stream channel maintenance at around the same level they were between 2004 and 2009.

Submissions on EW’s Draft Annual Plan close 30 April 2010. For more information about this proposal, to find out what your rates would be, or a submission form please call Environment Waikato’s freephone 0800 800 401.