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Published: 2006-11-28 00:00:00

Last week Environment Waikato recommended to the Graham’s Creek working party that $10,000-$15,000 needs to be spent each year to cover the cost of regular stream maintenance.

Should a $10,000 stream maintenance programme be adopted, the cost to Graham’s Creek ratepayers would range from $10-$70 per $100,000 capital value. The cost of a $15,000 programme would range from $15-$105 per $100,000 capital value a year. The amount each property owner would pay depends on where their property is located and the degree of benefit they would receive from the works.

The rating classification, which was prepared by an independent consultant, showed that nearly 80 properties at Graham’s Creek would directly benefit from regular stream maintenance.

Although 65 per cent of the cost of the programme would be funded by the Graham’s Creek community, 35 per cent would be funded by the wider Coromandel Peninsula and Waikato region.

The working party acknowledged there was strong support in the community for stream maintenance works. They also accepted there was a cost to provide such a programme but expressed concern the cost could be too high for a small number of property owners.

Given the cost would be much lower per ratepayer if spread over a wider base, the working party suggested Environment Waikato explore the option of consulting with the wider Tairua community, to see if it would be prepared to financially support the stream maintenance programme.

A stream maintenance programme for Graham’s Creek was first proposed in March when Environment Waikato’s 2006-2016 Draft Long-Term Council Community Plan (LTCCP) was distributed. As part of this process, the community also identified the need to increase the bridge’s capacity to discharge water into the harbour under the causeway on Manaia Road.

At last week’s meeting, Thames-Coromandel District Council staff said there were many priorities identified in their LTCCP that need to be considered by their council and currently the causeway is not a priority.

“We understand the district council has many priorities it must balance and we’re working with them to identify ways to bring the causeway forward in their funding programme,” said Environment Waikato Coromandel zone manager Julie Beaufill.

“In the meantime, we’ll continue to work with the community to confirm the stream maintenance programme and other works, such as stopbanking to protect Manaia Rd properties and an overflow path behind a number of Ocean Beach Rd properties. We’ll also start working with the district council to put appropriate planning controls in place for development and building standards.”