Council rules out delaying water meter charges

KAY BLUNDELL AND JOEL MAXWELL
Last updated 11:30 12/06/2014

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Calls for Kapiti Coast District Council to extend a honeymoon trial period for planned new water meter charges have been rejected.

A new water charging regime is to come into effect from July 1 but after two trial readings for each household promised by the council were delayed, staff have faced calls for the period to be extended.

It comes after the Kapiti Observer reveals ratepayers have discovered a glitch with their trial bills that has seen their charges swapped with their neighbours'.

Infrastructure services group manager Sean Mallon confirmed there was no change to the start of the new water charging scheme, saying they had been communicating with the public about the scheme and when it would start for the past two years.

Yesterday Mallon said if there is an error on someone's water invoice, then ''obviously we would not bill them for the error''.

''The error would be fixed and the property billed appropriately - just as with residents who don't think their meter is reading correctly, we have a process in place to respond to these issues.''

He said there are an additional three staff working on the project who are visiting residents with concerns about high water use and responding to residents' concerns about water meters.

''This will continue past the start of the new charging scheme from July 1.''

The glitch has seen the meter identification number on residents' invoices not matching their meter.

Four pairs of neighbours, sharing the same street numbers, had their water use bills swapped.

''One of the first things we ask people do in our trial reading information pack is to check their meter ID is the same as the one on their property,'' Mallon said.

The new regime features a $188.50 fixed charge and a cost of 95c for each cubic meter of water used.

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- The Dominion Post

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