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Published: 2002-03-28 00:00:00

Some Huntly residents are being asked to make a direct contribution under Environment Waikato’s Project Watershed proposal for maintaining the flood protection works in their area.

About 430 Huntly property owners directly benefiting from flood protection works are being asked to pay 40 percent of the costs – about $20,000 – with the rest of the costs spread across other ratepayers in the Region. Huntly residents are invited to ask questions about the project proposals next Wednesday at the Huntly Civic Centre.

Two public meetings are planned for the Civic Centre at 11.00am and at 7.00pm to provide more information about the project, which will ensure ongoing flood protection, soil conservation, and river management in the Waikato and Waipa River catchments.

Project manager Clare Crickett said about $50,000 of work a year had been identified in the Huntly area for flood protection, including maintaining stopbanks, pumps and floodgates and the supply of electricity. This was not new work, but work ensuring existing assets were maintained.

“The classifiers who provided technical expertise to the project have identified about 430 properties which receive direct protection from these works, and these people have received a letter from Environment Waikato indicating what they are likely to pay under Project Watershed.”

The direct costs are allocated back to property owners at rates of $60 or $100 per $100,000 of capital value, depending on where the properties are.

“Huntly has been a significant beneficiary of flood protection works and residents have not directly paid for this work. The regional ratepayer has borne the total cost of this work in the past. Project Watershed attempts to direct some of the cost to areas which receive the benefits.

“The Council acknowledges that for some ratepayers this will be an issue, and we invite them to make a submission on the fairness of this proposal. The Council will need to make a decision at the end of the day based on fairness and equity across all the interested parties,” she said.

This media item was current at its release date. The facts or figures it contains may have changed since its original publication.