Sign-up time on sewerage proposal

LUCY TOWNEND
Last updated 08:00 08/12/2012

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It's decision-making time for Himatangi Beach residents as the contracts for joining the community sewerage scheme go out.

The Manawatu District Council's "connection agreements", which ask residents to commit to the $8.7 million scheme by January 4, were posted to some of the town's residents this week.

Only those who indicated their interest at the beginning of the year have received an agreement.

Raukawa St resident Simon Rouse said he would be signing up as he has been for the scheme since the get-go.

"We can't stop it, it's going ahead and it's for the better of everyone. If people don't like it, well, just move."

The controversy n had caused a rift in the community, Mr Rouse said, but he felt opposition to the plan was about more than just the sewerage system.

"Everyone has their opinion about it, but I think for some people in town it's all about being anti the council, not the scheme.

"They've done a brilliant job where I'm concerned."

On the other side of the road - Mahuri St - resident Kara Lummis said she has opposed the scheme since the start.

"We don't need it and if something's not broken, don't fix it."

Mrs Lummis, who owns three houses in town, two of which she rents out, said the scheme was not suited to Himatangi's environment.

"I just don't trust the system the council are putting in. I don't think they understand what we live with here and the issues we have with sand."

The connection agreement was sent out in place of an easement document and outlines the responsibilities of both the property owners and the council in regards to implementing the sewerage scheme.

The cost to those who sign up before the January 4 deadline is $9775 per dwelling.

For those making lump-sum payments the money is due by June, but the money can be paid via targeted rates on three, five, 10 or 20-year terms.

Residents not signing up to the scheme can carry on with an on-site sewerage system, but it has to meet Horizons Regional Council's One Plan regulations.

If they do book into the scheme later, an unsubsidised contribution of $21,275 will be required.

The councils said in an information fact sheet sent to Himatangi households that detailed design work was complete and construction is set to start soon.

The council hopes all properties that have opted to join the scheme will be fully connected by this time next year.

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- Manawatu Standard

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