BASS Coast Shire Council is asking Pioneer Bay home owners to pay more than $4 million for road and drainage improvements as part of a special charge scheme.
One will face a bill of more than $50,000.
Council has sent out letters to residents outlining the estimated costs of four design options relating to drainage works, speed humps, sealed roads and other improvements.
Pioneer Bay Progress Association president Zena Benbow said she received a cost estimate of more than $14,300 while her neighbours across the road received one for at least $17,700.
Ms Benbow’s neighbours, Ron and Ruth Kelly, are charged more because they are being asked to pay for ‘easement drainage’, according to the letter sent by council.
“We’ve been rallying to get the streets done for a while now,” Ms Benbow said.
Residents on Kallay Drive are up for more than $16,600, while a property owner with a block of land on Beach Boulevard faces a bill upwards of $53,000, rising to more than $60,000 if one of the more costly plans goes ahead.
Cost estimates vary depending on the size of the block, whether the property’s on a corner and if the property owner has to pay for ‘easement drainage’.
Council has hosted a series of workshops, including one with Melbourne Water, to gain feedback from locals on which improvements were most desired.
Ms Benbow is concerned Melbourne Water is not paying its fair share of costs for the improvements.
“Melbourne Water is meant to be contributing to this scheme but the cost estimates that we’ve received are not that far removed from the cost estimates before Melbourne Water was meant to come into the scheme,” Ms Zenbow said.
For residents who are in Pioneer Bay for the short term, the investment could pay off.
Real estate agents have told Ms Benbow a $15,000 investment now could lead to a $25,000 increase in the sale price.
“But for people like me who prefer to be carried out of here in a box, it’s not going to be of much benefit,” she added.
Ms Benbow insists most of the community is firmly behind the plans and she was aware it would cost around $15,000 for the improvements.
“There’s nothing in here (the design options) that isn’t too far beyond what was discussed in the workshops.
“If we miss out this time, we go to the bottom of the list, and we will have to wait again and who knows what the cost will be at that stage,” Ms Benbow said.
Melbourne Water has confirmed it will contribute to the project, but is yet to finalise the amount.
“We are committed to constructing a diversion pipe that will assist with high flows and a wetland for stormwater treatment, which will also contribute to community amenity,” Melbourne Water acting general manager of Waterways and Land, John Woodland, said.
“Melbourne Water supports the Drainage Strategy and is committed to working with Bass Coast Shire Council to see the project realised as quickly as possible.”
Residents are encouraged to contact council if they’re concerned about the cost of the improvements.
Estimates show council will contribute up to $470,000 to the scheme.
Pouring money into the drains