Source: Whangarei District Council
Updated: 18/09/2019 4:28 p.m.
Ratepayers will have the option to pay their $4000 + GST contributions through their rates, over five years, interest free.
This means that each affected ratepayer will help to cover about 20% of the total cost of the work on each road with the District’s other ratepayers covering the rest.
In the past seal extension work had been funded in part by the New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA). In 2008 that funding stopped, significantly reducing the seal extension programme in the Whangarei District.
Last year Council allocated $1,000,000 a year over the three years of the 2018-21 Long Term Plan for seal extensions.
This enabled Wright Rd to be sealed that year. In the 2019/20 Annual Plan, Council allocated a further $2,000,000 to seal extensions, making a total $3M budget available for the 2019/20 programme.
A working party of Councillors met in October 2017 and again in August 2019 and decided to promote seal extension projects part funded through targeted rates, plus possibly one or two dust seals if sufficient funding is available in any one year.
Following that, all the unsealed roads in the district were assessed according to the number of users along each section to be sealed, the number of and density of housing along each road, the level of requests from the public and the cost of maintaining the road unsealed, as against sealing it. Sealing costs about $400,000 per kilometre.
Council’s Strategy and Planning Manager Jeff Devine said the simpler projects will be fast-tracked for completion this summer. Projects with approved ratepayer agreements will be constructed first and the remainder of the programme will be carried forward to the 2020/21 summer season.
“Inevitably it will be disappointing for any community that hoped to be on this year’s programme. That will be the case every year. Our assessment matrix looks at a wide range of factors, and we looked at all the roads in our District. The new funding allocated by Council allows us to chip away at the list of roads that need sealing, bit by bit every year.
Northland was not high on the list of priorities in the 1960s and 70s when government was funding a major seal road extension programme and now has the lowest proportion of sealed road in the country. I hope that more funding will come on stream from central government in future, and in the meantime we will keep going with our programme.”
The roads identified for the 2019 Seal Extension Programme (subject to consultation with property owners) are:
Sections of the following roads will be sealed without requiring special rating of property owners.