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

Ratepayers in Reporoa can expect to pay about $17.35 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. The Region is 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 are 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 Upper Waikato zone – which includes Reporoa – the capital value of existing works is $17.7 million, with $17.6 million in soil conservation works, and $100,000 in river management. This includes existing works in Reporoa, Paeroa Range, Whakamaru and farm plans. Works cover 325 properties involving 3,400 ha of retired land, 1,100 km of fencing and other works.

Proposed new capital works amount to $3.5 million, including $3 million in soil conservation. Addition protection work is proposed in the Waiotapu and Tahunaatara catchments as well as an additional 113 km in the Lake Whakamaru catchment. Limited lakeshore protection works are proposed for Lake Whakamaru, and better co-ordination of river management works is proposed over the main Waikato River channel and tributaries.

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.