Ohau C's separate fees stay

People camping and launching boats at the Ohau C camping reserve on Lake Benmore will continue to pay separate fees and cannot use fees paid to the Waitaki District Council for other Waitaki lakes sites and boat ramps.

The council is proposing to lease the Ohau camping reserve and its facilities, including the boat-launching ramp, to Glencairn Station, formalising an agreement between the two since 2010.

Before it could be leased, the council had to call for public submissions, receiving one from the Timaru Yacht and Power Boat Club, which was considered at its community services committee last week.

The club did not oppose the lease, but was concerned different charges would apply between Ohau C and other camping reserves and boat ramps operated by the council.

Any lease of Ohau C should include a clause the Ohau C charges were to be the same as those at other camps and ramps.

The club also wanted any season ticket paid to use the council-operated boat ramps to apply at Ohau C, too.

''Members ... regularly use different ramps during the boating season and object strongly to being required to pay an extra fee at the Ohau C boat ramp when they already have a season ticket for the other Waitaki district ramps.''

Ohau C was created during hydro development, including the building of the Benmore dam.

Land, including where the camping ground and ramp sit, was taken from Glencairn Station for the hydro scheme and the agreement was any surplus land would be returned to Glencairn.

Council recreation manager Erik van der Spek said that since 2010, Glencairn had operated Ohau C separately, including charging campers and boat owners.

Glencairn had advised if limits were placed on charges, the council should offset any loss in revenue.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said in any lease, if a separate launch fee was being collected, it needed to be clear in the lease who paid to maintain the ramp.

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