Council is taking the concerns expressed by the ratepayers of Mangawhai seriously.
A number of concerns have been expressed that the decision to extend the scope of the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme was not an authorised decision of Council. This is not the case. Council made the decision to extend the scope of the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme nearly trebling its potential capability. This decision resulted in a corresponding increase in cost to Council.
At a Council meeting held on 25 October 2006 Council agreed to extend the scope of the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme. The cost of the scheme at that point was projected to be $58 million. Increasing the scope meant an increase in the number of possible connections from approximately 1,220 to 3,300 with the potential to extend capacity even further when the need arose.
Council is undertaking two reviews of the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme and has asked staff to undertake a comprehensive examination to find the information needed to verify answers to the questions posed by all stakeholders.
Firstly, it is proceeding with the independent review of the EcoCare rating matters sought by ratepayer representatives from Mangawhai, including the Mangawhai Ratepayers and Residents Association.
Secondly, Council staff are also undertaking a review of the whole EcoCare Project from inception to completion. This comprehensive review will cover the project and related issues (including capital and operating costs, financing and funding, project management and associated Council decisions). The period under review is from inception to date. It will also consider implications of the scheme going forward for the 10 years of the Long Term Plan and for the 40 year estimated life of the Mangawhai Wastewater Treatment Plant. The review will include supporting documentation where applicable, and once finished will be considered by Council prior to release.
Council believes that it is important to take the time to do the reviews properly and to avoid ad hoc responses that can be taken out of context, potentially giving a misleading or false impression. The issues are of importance to a wide variety of stakeholders and consideration needs to be given to everyone’s needs.