Saturday, June 19, 2010

Questionnaire Results for "Democracy at Baylys Beach"

The Questionnaire results are finally completed. We collected 139 out of the 217 sent out, that is a return rate of 64%, which shows the community is very concerned about the proposed KDC wastewater scheme and possible solutions.

Of course, after sending out the questionnaire several new issues came to light. For example, the questions #13 and #14 referred to a "connection fee" for the reticulated sewage scheme; it was pointed out by Mayor Neil Tiller that this is really called a "One-off Targeted Rate" or "Availability charge" that is paid to KDC in your annual rates (as a one-off payment or payments over 25 years at some unknown interest rate and therefore some unknown total final cost). So just a quick calculation: if the "One-off Targeted Rate" is paid out for 25 years, with an initial cost of $22,000, it comes to a total of $42,525 (assuming a lowly 6% interest from some insolvent bank like the Royal Bank of Scotland, who did the Mangawhai loan).

So therefore, please note: The so-called "connection" to the system from your house will be an ADDITIONAL cost of having a pipe laid from your house to connect to the street system (which will require an independent drainlayer and building permit, unless KDC applies for a permit for the entire neighbourhood all in one go). Of course, this is now an additional cost ($500 or more?) to get connected to the system. No matter what you call it, or how you cost it, it is still lipstick on a pig!

And now to make things worse, KDC has yet to admit or announce it will require all septic tanks at Baylys Beach (yes, even those brand new ones) to be decommissioned if a reticulated system is installed. This means your tank needs to be emptied (that is $400), then the lid broken and hole drilled in the bottom, and filled with an inert substance (sand) and the cost might be another $500-$1000 to complete this process. Or you can removed tour tank, but first you will need to get a permit or Resource Consent (another fee is payable to KDC) and then find a landfill site that will accept this TOXIC dump (by the way, there are none in the district that will do this). According to the EcoCare brochure for the wastewater scheme at Mangawhai, the KDC staff are going to monitor the decommissioning of old septic tanks (Yeah, right!)

So the basic summary of the answers by the respondents is pretty simple:
109 respondents (78%) believe their septic tank is working just fine,
only 3 respondents believed that rate-payers COULD afford a multi-million dollar system,
while 112 (81%) said NO! we could NOT afford it, and 14 were NOT SURE...
73 respondents (53%) feel the KDC consultation is guilty of poor communication, biased
and not open for discussion...ONLY 5 respondents said KDC had excellent communication and was informative and clear (maybe they have too much ear-wax built up)
56 respondents (40%) believe they be forced to sell up and move out if the fee is $20,000
and 26% believe they will be forced to sell and move if the fee is $10,000

AND....92% of respondents want to know from each candidate in the October Election their position on the multi-million dollar all the incumbents had better make up their mind which side they are on.


RETURNED as of JUNE 28, 2010

The results are expressed as a percentage of the 139 returned

(of 217 total sent out there was a return rate of 64%)

1) So we can accurately describe our Baylys Beach community please tell us about your property (if you have received more than one questionnaire it is because you may own more than one property, so please fill out a questionnaire for each): Note some respondents checked more than one answer so the percentages may add to more than 100%.

43%_____ Our dwelling or house is a full-time residence

31%_____ It is a part-time residence or holiday home

17%_____ It is a full-time rental home

6% ____ It is a seasonal or part-time holiday rental

2%_____ It has no dwelling or living quarters on the section

2) During most of the year how many people reside at the property:

23%_____ None

51%_____ 1-2 people

21%_____ 3-4 people

5%_____ 5 or more people

3) During peak times, such as holidays, how many people on average are in residence:

2%_____ None

32%_____ 0-2 people

43%_____ 3-4 people

22%_____ 5 or more people

4) Does the property or section have an on-site septic tank for wastewater disposal?

96%_____ Yes

4%_____ No

0%_____ Not Sure

5) If you have a septic tank, how old do you think it is?

76%____ more than 10 years old

12%_____ probably between 5 and 10 years old

7%_____ less than 5 years old

4%_____ no septic tank on the section

6) To the best of your knowledge, the operation of your septic tank seems …

78%_____ to work all the time just fine (no smelly odours)

15%_____ to need some service or cleaning to make it work better (occasionally smelly odours)

2%____ to not work very well (smelly odours and coloured water leaking around the property)

1%_____ to be a big mystery (don’t worry…you’re not alone!)

3%_____ no septic tank on the section

The following questions relate to the Kaipara District Council (KDC) plan to design, build and operate a multi-million dollar reticulated wastewater scheme for Baylys Beach that could serve for future growth up to 600 homes. A reticulated sewerage system refers to the system of pipes, sewers and drains that convey sewage from your property to the sewage treatment plant at Dargaville or a new plant Baylys Beach.

7) Do you believe that the Baylys Beach community has problems with wasterwater contamination due to the current use of existing septic tanks on individual properties?

10%_____ Yes, and probably for almost all properties in our neighbourhood

54%_____ Yes, but probably limited to a few older houses or older bachs

22%_____ No, not a problem at all

14%_____ Not sure

8) Do you believe that the Baylys Beach community needs a multi-million dollar community-wide reticulated wastewater system to replace the existing on-site septic tanks that currently serve individual properties?

11%_____ Yes

71%_____ No

18%_____ Not sure

9) Do you believe that the Baylys Beach community needs some kind of new wastewater system, perhaps a less expensive alternative to a multi-million dollar reticulated system, that will serve the entire community and replace the existing on-site septic tanks that currently serve individual properties?

33%_____ Yes

38%_____ No

27%_____ Not sure

10) Do you believe that the Baylys Beach community should have individual new eco-friendly and innovative on-site wastewater systems on each property to replace existing septic tanks?

30%_____ Yes

43%_____ No

26%_____ Not sure

11) If the central government or regional council were to impose on the Baylys Beach community higher standards for residential wastewater runoff, which of the following options for your residence or property would you favour?

19%_____ A community-wide reticulated scheme that would serve up to 600 homes

32%_____ On-site system for my individual residence or property

55%_____ Want to see other options if available for our community

12) If you have an on-site system (old or new) would you be prepared to pay for an inspection or Warranty of Fitness every few years that might cost about $100 to $200?

65%____ Yes

20%____ No

13%____ Undecided at this time

3%____ Does not apply, as there is no septic tank on the property at this time

If the KDC decides to construct a community-wide reticulated waste water system at Baylys Beach all Units of Demand (which means a house or bach or vacant section) will be required to connect to the system and pay a property connection fee (even if you just installed a new septic tank that works just fine). The term 'property connection' is used to describe the piece of the sewerage system connecting the private property “Unit of Demand” to the council's reticulated sewerage system.

This means for each property you own, even if it is vacant land with no dwelling, you will be required to pay a connection fee.

The KDC published estimates it might cost $10,000, $20,000 or more than $30,000 for the connection fee for each house or section and have an annual operating charge (to be paid as an annual rates charge) of at least $1,000 or more per year for a community-wide reticulated wastewater system.

13) Could you afford a $10,000 connection fee?

12%_____ Yes without major financial problems

27%_____ Yes, but it would be a financial hardship

35%_____ Not without taking some loans or asking family

26%_____ No. would force us to sell up and move out

14) Could you afford $20,000 or more for a connection fee?

6%_____ Yes without major financial problems

16%_____ Yes, but it would be a financial hardship

37%_____ Not without taking some loans or asking family

41%_____ No. would force us to sell up and move out

15) Will you be able to pay annual operating charges of $1,000 or more for each household connection?

17%_____ Yes without major financial problems

48%_____ Yes, but it would be a financial hardship

14%_____ Not without taking some loans or asking family

22%_____ No, would force us to sell up and move out

16) If you own a stand-alone vacant section or adjacent vacant section to your current home, the Council will charge you 50% of the annual “operating charge” even with no use or hook-up of the system. Will you be able to pay a $500 or more annual operating charge for an empty section?

81%_____ Does not apply to me because I do not own an empty or vacant section

2%_____ Yes without major financial problems

10%_____ Yes, but it would be a financial hardship

1%_____ Not without taking some loans or asking family

5%_____ No. would force us to sell the section

17) Do you believe that the rate-payers of the Baylys Beach community can afford a multi-million dollar wastewater scheme?

2%_____ Yes

80%_____ No

18%_____ Not sure

18) The reticulated Managawhai Wastewater scheme approved by the Kaipara District Council was estimated to initially cost about $9 to $12 Million, but now is costing more than $56 Million (as per estimates by KDC of April 2010). Does this raise a concern for you in terms of Baylys Beach?

96%_____ Yes

2%_____ No

19) How do you feel about the current Kaipara District Council’s consultation process with the Baylys Beach rate-payers about future plans for dealing with our wastewater?

4%_____ Excellent communication, clear, informative and open to discussion

27%_____ Fair communication, a few problems with information, facts and figures

53%_____ Poor communication, misinformation, biased and not open for discussion

21%_____ My own words: Almost all these comments (except 1 or 2) were negative about KDC consultation, the process of KDC consultation, and the agenda of KDC.

20) For the upcoming district elections would you like to know from each of the candidates running for Mayor and/or Council their position on plans for a multi-million dollar reticulated wastewater scheme for Baylys Beach?

90%_____ Yes

6%_____ No

4%_____ Have not decided at this time

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