Waikato Regional Council has agreed on a rating option it believes is the fairest and most equitable basis to pay for $2.8 million of flood mitigation works completed at Te Puru, on the Thames Coast, last year.
As a result of community feedback, the council decided the funding will be spread over a 30 year period, rather than the 20 years originally proposed in the 2013/14 Draft Annual Plan. This change recognises concerns raised regarding the affordability of the additional annual rates.
The council also confirmed that a rate for the $1.4 million local share of the completed flood protection works will be implemented based on funding 50 per cent of the rate on capital value and 50 per cent on a per property rate for properties that directly benefit from the completed works.
For the holiday park and motel, an additional differential will be applied to the per property component of the rate to reflect the potential number of people able to be accommodated on those properties. However, given new information about the variability of flood risk within the holiday park, the council also supported a modification in the proposed rating over that property which resulted in a lower annual rate than that proposed in the Draft Annual Plan.
During this year’s annual plan consultation, the council sought public feedback on three rating options to pay for work to protect Te Puru from up to a 1-in-100 year flood event, with 51 submissions received on the issue.
The majority of submissions supported increasing the level of rating for the Te Puru Holiday Park, and a number asked for the works to be funded over a longer period than 20 years. A number of submissions from holiday park shareholders said the proposed increase in rating for the holiday park was unjustified.
On the basis of submissions received, council reviewed the flood risk modelling for the holiday park. The results of the review showed that flood risk varies across this property. While flood risk potentially varies within other properties in Te Puru, it is more significant at the holiday park given the overall size of the property (almost 3 hectares compared to an average residential section of 0.14 hectares).
While the rates that have now been approved are lower than some options proposed as part of the consultation process, the council is satisfied that the share of the total cost to be met by the holiday park is fair and equitable. And by spreading the cost of the work over a 30 year period, the annual rating impact on all Te Puru ratepayers has been reduced.
Te Puru ratepayers will receive a newsletter late next month with detailed information on the council’s decision and the rating impacts.