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Published: 2013-01-09 00:00:00

Waikato Regional Council is holding a drop-in afternoon this Friday for Te Puru ratepayers undecided about their preferred rating option to pay for stopbanks and floodwalls.

Regional council staff will be at Te Puru Bowling Club from 1 pm to 3 pm, and people can stop by at any time over the two hours. 

Based on submissions received on its 2012-2022 Long Term Plan, the council has reviewed the way Te Puru ratepayers will be rated for flood protection. As a result, the council has identified alternative rating options that may be fairer and more equitable than the per property rate the community originally agreed to when the flood mitigation scheme was consulted on in 2003. 

A preferred option endorsed by the council’s finance and audit committee would be a rate based on a 50/50 mix of capital value and per Separately Used and Inhabited Part (SUIP) of a property. 

“This way of doing things recognises that the users of SUIPs on properties also benefit from the works we’ve done in this community, while having a capital value (CV) element reflects the value of property being protected,” said the council’s Coromandel zone manager, Julie Beaufill. 

However, Ms Beaufill stressed other options were the status quo of a per property charge, a combination of CV and per property, and an SUIP charge only. 

Ms Beaufill said a newsletter explaining the options and inviting community feedback was sent to all ratepayers just before Christmas. Since then some residents had approached her requesting an opportunity to talk face-to-face with council staff about the options. 

“At this Friday’s drop-in afternoon staff will be available to answer questions people may have about the four options and to talk about the process we’ll be following to decide which rating option will be put in place.” 

Ratepayers have until Friday 18 January to provide informal feedback to the council on the four options set out in the newsletter. This feedback will help determine the rating proposals to be included in the regional council’s draft 2013/14 Annual Plan which will be formally consulted on from Tuesday 12 March to Friday 12 April. 

People who didn’t receive a newsletter, or who want more information but are unable to attend the drop-in afternoon, should call Waikato Regional Council on freephone 0800 800 401. 

Work to protect Te Puru from up to a one in 100 year flood event was completed last year. It was the last of five big flood mitigation projects undertaken by the regional council as a result of the 2002 weather bomb on the Thames Coast.

The combined cost of protecting the Coromandel, Tapu, Waiomu-Pohue, Te Puru and Tararu communities was around $6.5 million.