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Published: 2002-03-01 00:00:00

Ratepayers in Hamilton, Cambridge, Tokoroa and Putaruru can expect to pay about $12.77 in rates per $100,000 of the value of their properties under Project Watershed cost details outlined this week.

Over the past five years Environment Waikato has been required to review how existing schemes which protect land from flooding and soil erosion can be funded, as the Government no longer provides funding and much of the existing scheme work has been underfunded.

The Region has been divided into five management zones, and Environment Waikato has been working with the communities to identify what services are needed, and how they could be funded.

The communities have indicated they value the existing works and have been debating the level of new work that should be started. Proposed work programmes, including existing and new works, will cost around $5.8 million a year and all ratepayers will be affected.

In the Middle Waikato zone – which includes Hamilton, Cambridge and Tokoroa – the capital value of existing works is $7 million, with a further $1.65 million in capital works proposed, mostly in river management. Soil conservation works involve $500,000 of initial trial works over three years. The work will target priority hill country and lake input streams.

Bank erosion and river management works include incorporation of Hamilton City Council works over five years. Provision has been made to address issues around the deepening of the river channel through Hamilton City. The total potential cost in this area is $1.05 million, including $556,000 in existing annual costs.

Regional ratepayers who live outside the catchment will also be contributing to Project Watershed through their general rates at about $2.35 per $100,000 of property value.

Ratepayers can find out how much they will pay by visiting Environment Waikato’s website, www.ew.govt.nz/watershed, or calling 0800 WE CONSULT (0800 932 667) with their latest rates account.

The draft funding policy is open for submissions and comment until Monday, April 8. Submissions will be heard by the Council from mid April and the formal adoption of the final funding policy will be done at the end of May. Rates incorporating Project Watershed will be struck at the July Council meeting.