Ratepayers to stump up for wastewater cost

Upper Selwyn Huts residents Graeme Young and Graham Evans are some of the residents who will be...
Upper Selwyn Huts residents Graeme Young and Graham Evans are some of the residents who will be paying for their wastewater system. PHOTO: MARTIN HUNTER
A small hut community now know the bill they will be footing to pay for their own wastewater system. 

The Selwyn District Council decided last week Upper Selwyn Huts residents will pay for their wastewater scheme through a targeted rate, after adopting the recommended option from a working party that included residents.

In May the district council voted that the residents would have to pay in full for a wastewater scheme, when its current scheme expires in June 2020.

The new system is estimated to cost the community $3 million and will be funded by a targeted rate of approximately $4000 over the Upper Selwyn Huts area.

Selwyn Huts has about 100 permanent residents.

District council chief executive David Ward told the Selwyn Times the Upper Selwyn Huts were on "limited time"  due to climate change and forecast sea level rises.

Therefore, the council did not believe it was right for ratepayers elsewhere in the district to pay for its wastewater system.

“The council’s opinion is that there is an issue of fairness in asking the entire district to pay for a wastewater system at Upper Selwyn Huts given the uncertain, but clearly limited, time frame that any new wastewater system would be in use,” Mr Ward said.

The proposed new system would see a pumped low-pressure sewer installed with a compact package treatment plant where the wastewater would be collected and treated.

A new dispersal area would be made for the treated water to be dispersed into raised beds in the huts reserve area.

Resident Graeme Young says the community is very pleased with the recommendation.

“The vote on us having a sewer system here gives us certainty for the future. It is a long-term solution rather than a short-term one,” he said.

Mr Young said a targeted rate for residents was not their preferred option for funding.

“We wanted to be included in the district-wide rating system but we also don’t think it’ll end up costing as much as the estimated amount.”

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