28 November 2017
Owners of around 1,000 older cross-lease properties in Waipa will have their water bill equally split with their neighbours – for now.
But the decision will be reviewed in 12 months' time once there is more certainty around how much water is being used and whether or not the charging regime is fair.
At today's Waipa District Council meeting, elected members discussed four separate options to recover the cost of water from properties without their own dedicated water meter. The properties make up around seven per cent of properties connected to the Waipa town supply and were built under rules which no longer apply. Unlike freehold titles which have a dedicated meter and private pipe, these properties share a single water supply.
Discussion centred on two options: continuing to charge impacted property owners for water using a Uniform Annual Charge (currently $405.20 per year) or splitting the bill equally between all those connected to the meter.
A resolution to continue with the Uniform Annual Charge for a period of 12 months so water use could be assessed was lost 8-5. Those in favour argued for the Uniform Annual Charge to be retained for a 12-month period to confirm water use and costs.
A second resolution, to split the bill equally between those connected to the meter, and reassess the charging regime after 12 months was supported 9-4. Those in favour believed property owners would be financially better off under a split bill.
Councillors who voted against the second resolution were Mayor Jim Mylchreest, Councillors Liz Stolwyk, Vern Wilson and Hazel Barnes.
Mylchreest said, in the meantime, all property owners should consider Council's offer to pay for a dedicated meter to the road boundary, if they paid for any changes needed to private plumbing to their house. Some people have already taken up this offer, he said.