Lower Taieri farmers will not see a greater proportion of
their flood protection rates paid by the wider community after
failing to make a ''compelling'' case for change.
A group of farmers made submissions to last year's annual
plan asking for the general rate contribution to the lower
Taieri flood protection scheme be reviewed.
Some suggested the general rate contribution should be as
high as the Leith flood protection scheme's 7% instead of the
Council financial director Wayne Scott said after reviewing
the information and council policies there appeared to be
''little grounds'' for additional rates contribution.
''It's sensible where it is in my view.''
Cr Duncan Butcher, who chaired last year's annual plan
hearings, said submitters made many emotive arguments about
the importance of the airport and the roading network for
recreation, which were protected by the lower Taieri scheme.
''There was nothing new that one could really consider to
make a case for an increase in percentage.''
As a result, he could not see how the council could justify
making a case to change it, especially as the impact on the
district's rates was very little.
''The figures show it doesn't make a hell of a lot of
Cr Bryan Scott said he believed the areas protected by the
Leith scheme were of significantly higher importance than
that of the Taieri scheme.
''It'll have chain reaction to other schemes [and] that is
Cr David Shepherd said it was important if the community
wanted a change that it make a compelling case for it.
''I don't believe there is anything compelling to warrant
Chairman Stephen Woodhead said there had been significant
growth in people using the airport, especially domestic
passengers, which backed up farmers' arguments that it was an
important piece of infrastructure.
The bottom of the runway, in particular, was protected by the
scheme and the airport was the second largest ratepayer in
the area, although the operational areas of the airport were
not rateable by law.