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Bung
3455 posts

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  #1998311 18-Apr-2018 09:49
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Greendrake:

Now, the hitch is that my section has never had dwellings on it before, and, although there are service mains along the boundary, there are no laterals. They need to be built. When I approached the council about building them, they told me to hire a contractor and build them at my own cost. Their contractor (Downer) will only then inspect the completed work.




To get a sense of proportion, how far from your boundary is the main? Conceivably you could be arguing over 1 - 2m of pipe.

The Wellington cases that have prompted the Council to consider contributing to lateral repairs involved mains across the street from the property. The minute the road gets blocked you can add 50% to costs with Traffic Management.

1101
2295 posts

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  #1998325 18-Apr-2018 09:58
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Greendrake:

 

If the council legally has to build the laterals then they will have to pay my lawyers fees too.

 

 

yes, reality may hit you big time if you follow that path
do you have an endless amount of money to pay legal & court costs chasing this . Councils dont care what their legal costs are, because the ratepayers foot the bill
It only takes 1 counciller with an attitude to drag out legal proceedings & drag it through courts
how do you propose to force the council pay for your legal fees ?


 
 
 
 


Amosnz
503 posts

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  #1998328 18-Apr-2018 10:00
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Slightly different (possibly worse) situation but similar principle:

 

My brother-in-law just built in a semi-rural area near New Plymouth.  He applied to the local lines company for a power connection and was told the transformer couldn't handle anymore connections.  If he wanted to be connected he'd have to pay the cost of a transformer upgrade (~20k).  This new transformer has capacity to supply more than just by BIL, so any future connections won't incur that cost, but he doesn't own the asset he paid for (he's obviously no liable for ongoing maintenance\repairs, the lines company does that once installed).

 

At least in your situation what you are paying for only benefits you.





Speedtest


Aredwood
3885 posts

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  #1998938 18-Apr-2018 20:00

Almost certainly your council has bylaws allowing them to charge what they want in this situation. Your only means of challenging that will probably be a judicial review. Which will be expensive and take ages.

If the council sewer is inside your property, And there is a manhole in a suitable location. The physical works to connect are quite cheap.

Sorry but you just have to factor development contributions into your build costs.





JuanPerez
9 posts

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  #1999605 19-Apr-2018 22:13
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I'm not sure it should be too surprising that you need to cover the cost of the lateral.

 

It's a sole use asset. You are the only property using it and getting any benefit from it.

 

If you don't cover the cost of it, who would? If the council were to cover the cost, then that's really all ratepayers covering the cost, but no other ratepayers (except you) use or receive benefit from the lateral, so there's no reason why they should pay.


Greendrake

61 posts

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  #1999607 19-Apr-2018 22:21
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JuanPerez:

 

If the council were to cover the cost, then that's really all ratepayers covering the cost, but no other ratepayers (except you) use or receive benefit from the lateral, so there's no reason why they should pay.

 

 

The council has been including "Wastewater Service Charge" in the rates for years, if not decades. The property has been paying it without even the connection in place. Why cannot this be the reason?


JuanPerez
9 posts

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  #1999613 19-Apr-2018 22:36
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Greendrake:

 

JuanPerez:

 

If the council were to cover the cost, then that's really all ratepayers covering the cost, but no other ratepayers (except you) use or receive benefit from the lateral, so there's no reason why they should pay.

 

 

The council has been including "Wastewater Service Charge" in the rates for years, if not decades. The property has been paying it without even the connection in place. Why cannot this be the reason?

 

 

I don't know what a 'Wastewater Service Charge' covers, but (assuming it's just the sewerage network) it does potentially seem perverse that you have to pay it even if you don't have a connection to the sewerage network. 

 

Nonetheless it's a separate issue to who should pay for a sole use lateral. The point I was making was a more general one around expecting others to pay for sole use assets.

 

It's akin to building a new driveway. I don't think you would expect the council to pay if you wanted to build a new driveway to connect your property to the road network.


 
 
 
 


mattwnz
16763 posts

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  #1999617 19-Apr-2018 22:40
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Has your piece of land recently subdivided? eg has it recently had a resource consent issued on it? I would check you property packet to see if it discusses connection to sewers, as it is possible the person subdividing it was required to put them in initially, when the development contributions etc were paid. You may find the answer in old records for the property. But at the end of the day, whether you pay or the council pays, you are still paying, as the council money comes from you the ratepayer.I just wish councils were far more user friendly and ncer to deal with. Some are, but some aren't. The larger ones I have found are far better and more professional to deal with.


Greendrake

61 posts

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  #1999622 19-Apr-2018 22:48
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mattwnz:

 

Has your piece of land recently subdivided? eg has it recently had a resource consent issued on it?

 

No, it's been established for decades without any buildings, except for a tennis court existing on it a few decades ago. A commercial resource consent was granted 10 years ago (truck washing facility), but did not go anywhere further.

 

I agree with the argument that I will be the only one to use the connection and, therefore, nobody else should be paying for it. On the other hand, that lateral will belong to the council, not me, which is why my idea was to get them build it using the "Wastewater Service" portion of the rates I have been paying.


mattwnz
16763 posts

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  #1999627 19-Apr-2018 22:53
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Greendrake:

 

 

 

I agree with the argument that I will be the only one to use the connection and, therefore, nobody else should be paying for it. On the other hand, that lateral will belong to the council, not me, which is why my idea was to get them build it using the "Wastewater Service" portion of the rates I have been paying.

 

 

 

 

They will probably argue that that pays for the rest of the infrastructure and also treatment plant etc.Maybe you should arrange to have a meeting with them, because I have found that a face to face meeting can resolve things far easier when working with council staff


Aredwood
3885 posts

Uber Geek


  #1999643 20-Apr-2018 00:56

Greendrake:

mattwnz:


Has your piece of land recently subdivided? eg has it recently had a resource consent issued on it?


No, it's been established for decades without any buildings, except for a tennis court existing on it a few decades ago. A commercial resource consent was granted 10 years ago (truck washing facility), but did not go anywhere further.


I agree with the argument that I will be the only one to use the connection and, therefore, nobody else should be paying for it. On the other hand, that lateral will belong to the council, not me, which is why my idea was to get them build it using the "Wastewater Service" portion of the rates I have been paying.



When the sewage network was designed, they would have calculated the expected loading, and therefore the required size of assets needed. Based on the assumption that all urban properties in the area served will be connected to the system. Therefore the council have incurred sewage costs even though you haven't make a connection yet.

And you could also view the councils sewage charges as an indirect tax on land banking.

Also maybe the truck washing consent is the reason you are being charges sewage fees.





trig42
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  #1999667 20-Apr-2018 08:16
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I'm thinking you should have disputed the wastewater charges from the time you got your first rates bill for the property.

 

I would say you are peeing into the wind asking them to use what you have already paid to pay for the lateral that you have to pay for?

 

 

 

Are you going to ask the council to pay for the driveway that crosses the berm they own? After all, they will own that piece of road reserve, and everything on it (and, you have to mow it too, or are you going to bill them for that?).


Greendrake

61 posts

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  #1999938 20-Apr-2018 17:37
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trig42:

 

I would say you are peeing into the wind asking them to use what you have already paid to pay for the lateral that you have to pay for?

 

 

Well, sometimes it may be worth making the wind blow in the opposite direction if you can.

 

trig42:

 

Are you going to ask the council to pay for the driveway that crosses the berm they own? After all, they will own that piece of road reserve, and everything on it (and, you have to mow it too, or are you going to bill them for that?).

 

 

I would say that a property paying rates should be entitled to one driveway, yes — paid from the same fund as the road it goes into. Berms should be mowed by the council (my one does this).

 

All properties need at least one lateral, one driveway and berms mowed, so it makes sense to share the costs in order to have it all done evenly and smoothly by the same contractor, rather than each property doing it their own way. If anybody needs a lateral larger than everybody else, or a second driveway — only then it would make sense to get them pay for that.


mattwnz
16763 posts

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  #1999948 20-Apr-2018 17:56
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1101:

 


It only takes 1 counciller with an attitude to drag out legal proceedings & drag it through courts

 

 

 

 

Best not to get council staff (employed by the council) confused with Councillors(who are publicly elected officials). If the OP isn't happy, though, they should perhaps ask to speak to one of the elected councilors about it or even the mayor. One thing though that I have found, is that councils don't like being compared to other councils, so if you say this other council does pay for them, they don't seem to like that.


mattwnz
16763 posts

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  #1999951 20-Apr-2018 18:00
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Greendrake:

 

 

 

All properties need at least one lateral, one driveway and berms mowed, so it makes sense to share the costs in order to have it all done evenly and smoothly by the same contractor, rather than each property doing it their own way. If anybody needs a lateral larger than everybody else, or a second driveway — only then it would make sense to get them pay for that.

 

 

 

 

When you say it that way, it does sound like common sense. However I think my council made us pay for the drive across the berm, even though they do own it. You're lucky your councils mows them.  My council says they will only mow them once the grass gets knee high.


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