Campervan dump pushes up rates

An increase in the number of self-contained vehicles in the Cromwell area is partially responsible for a proposed rate rise of 3.4 per cent across Central Otago in the 2014-15 year.

Yesterday's meeting of the Central Otago District Council approved the draft annual plan, which includes $100,000 each for campervan effluent dumps in Cromwell and Alexandra.

Councillor Neil Gillespie said the Lowburn car park, near Cromwell, was an extremely popular camping site, resembling a small city of both self-contained and non-self-contained vehicles parked up for short and long stays.

"They are very good about their rubbish. If someone is coming into town, they go around and gather everyone else's, and take it to the transfer station," Cr Gillespie said.

"They are spending time and money with us. We need to look after them."

Councillor Stu Duncan said it was unfortunate a lot of toilet paper had been discovered behind the Wedderburn goods shed, meaning some less-than-responsible people had been spoiling it for others.

People freedom camping along the Butchers Drive area of Cromwell had also been moved along by police, and the council agreed to ensure more signage was used next season as the "hot spot areas" for orchard workers and casual holidaymakers changed every year.

Rose Quirk, on behalf of LINZ, said the Far North and Central Otago were becoming known as camping-friendly destinations, and this would only increase as the popularity of the new cycle trails attracted more people.

A further $100,000 has been earmarked for track maintenance across all Central Otago trails. This has led to an increase in the Clutha Management component of each resident's rates from $10.53 last year to $23.06 this year.

Mayor Tony Lepper described the draft as "a lot of work, a lot of meetings, putting in place what we did over three years".

The draft annual plan is open for public submissions from April 1 to May 1, with hearings being held across the region during the last week of May with the final plan adopted on June 25.

The Southland Times