silent-majority2As a property owner in Seaward Drive in Cape Paterson, I received a notice from council last year that plans had been proposed for sealing gravel roads in Cape Paterson.
My share of the estimated costs was well over $13,000.
Council must have received a significant number of objections to their proposed scheme, as I have recently received another set of plans, specifications and estimated costs, this time being $3733.36.
Given the magnitude of the initial costs, one could possibly feel somewhat relieved about the new figures, though this is no consolation to some residents in other streets who have been advised that their costs will be in excess of $20,000.
I attended a meeting of the Preserve the Cape Committee last Saturday and was staggered to hear the ‘real’ reason for council discounting the costs for residents in Seaward Drive.
The meeting was informed that members of Preserve the Cape had spoken to the developers of the Eco Village in Seaward Drive who had informed them that the Eco Village was required to pay the costs of sealing Seaward Drive. Council has acknowledged that this is correct.
Sceptics amongst us, and I’m sure there are many, might ask council if the reduction of costs for Seaward Drive residents would have occurred had the requirements of the Eco Village to pay for sealing the road not been ‘discovered’.
There are 55 properties in Seaward Drive that have been issued with notices, which amounts to a reduction of approximately $500,000 which would otherwise have been a nice little nest egg for council.
Then there is the question of why residents of Seaward Drive are being charged $3733.36.
My enquiry with council ascertained that it is for ‘kerbing and guttering’.
Our property has the standard 15.24 metre frontage, which equates to a staggering $244.97 per metre.
The meeting on Saturday heard from several residents who will be charged up to $40,000 if Special Charge Scheme No 27 goes ahead.
Many of them are elderly, long-time residents of Cape Paterson. Some of them have already developed stress related health issues.
Mayor Rankine bravely attended the meeting, where he put forward the views of council and attempted to answer many pertinent and challenging questions.
Mayor Rankine had the casting vote in favour of Scheme No 27 despite the large number of objections received from ratepayers in what is the Council Ward that he represents.
Might I remind Mayor Rankine that it is his role to represent his ratepayers, those who elected him to office.
Christine Connors, Montrose.