MAYOR: Last chance to have your say on Long-Term Plan

Published: 14 April 2021

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This past five weeks, Council has been accepting feedback from residents on what we plan to do in the district over the next 10 years, and it’s not too late to have your say too.

Consultation on our draft Long-Term Plan 2021-31 is open until 5pm, Monday 19 April so don’t miss this chance to tell us what you think of our proposals before the plan is finalised.

For those who have already submitted their feedback, thank you for your contribution. It will be invaluable when the time comes for Council to deliberate on the proposals.

If you have not yet had your say, we are inviting feedback on anything in the plan – you can even put forward your own ideas for consideration. But there two main issues we really want your thoughts on.

The first is how we fund Elderly Persons Housing, and the second is whether Council should install water meters on all properties connected to our drinking water schemes.

With regards to Elderly Persons Housing, Council is proposing to incrementally increase rents each year until they are covering the costs of providing and maintaining the homes. This option would eventually remove the need for funding from other ratepayers and would ensure our reserves for the houses do not run out of money.

Meanwhile, water meters are being proposed as a way for Council to reduce the amount of water we are losing through leaks and inefficient use. Estimates suggest we could be losing up to 50 per cent of our water in these ways, which is not only a huge waste of water but also comes at a financial cost: we still have to pump and treat the water regardless of whether it is used or not.

One of the questions we have been hearing from residents is how meters would actually help to find and fix these leaks.

The answer lies in their ability to monitor water consumption which Council can use to assess whether houses are using an abnormal amount of water. In these instances, we can then identify if that may be because of a leak.

This method has already been used in Mt Somers and Mayfield where meters have been installed.

Council also uses meters on some of our own watermain networks and carries out acoustic monitoring to find leaks. The meters on private properties on the remainder of our schemes would further compliment these efforts.

I encourage you to visit our website today to see the full proposals and provide your feedback on our draft plan.

Remember, submissions are open until Monday 19 April, so make your voice count.

Ashburton District Council's Mayor, Neil Brown, provides a fortnightly column to local newspapers. This column was featured in the Ashburton Guardian on Wednesday, 14 April 2021.

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