Some water schemes may get refunds from council

Water schemes throughout the Waitaki district could get almost $1.4 million back between them from the Waitaki District Council, comprising development levies and interest collected since 2006.

The council's committee of the whole has recommended development contribution funds collected to pay for future development and improvements to water supplies be paid back to 18 schemes.

Some of the funds were collected from property developments when the council was considering connecting coastal communities to the Oamaru water treatment plant, to provide higher quality water required by government standards.

That project proved too expen-sive compared with upgrading individual supplies, except for the neighbouring Weston and Enfield schemes, close to Oamaru. As a result of the individual upgrades, the funds collected could be paid back, if the council agrees.

Funds range from $827 to the Goodwood scheme committee to $215,814 for Omarama and $276,699 for Weston.

The funds have already been allocated to offset the cost of upgrading individual schemes.

Notification of rent increases for tenants in council community housing complexes in Oamaru, Palmerston and Hampden was received by the committee this week.

Rents will rise between $7 and $18 a week, depending on the type of unit, from July.

Tenants have been notified and will be visited by an Age Concern social worker, who will also outline an accommodation subsidy available from Work and Income if their rents are more than $87 a week and they qualify.

The new rents will range from $76 for a bedsit or single-bedroom unit to a minimum $136 for a two-bedroom unit and are approved by the chief executive Michael Ross under delegated authority, rather than by the council.

The council aims to charge up to 80% or market rents but between 25% and 30% of the gross superannuation benefit.



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