Fee hike proposal concerns

Published date09 June 2022
Publication titleSouthland Express
Occupants of the off-the-grid micro-village at Otatara were notified of the first increase of 60% by the Invercargill City Council in 2021, which resident Kath McDonagh said came as a shock since there was no prior consultation

‘‘Licence holders are more than happy to pay reasonable fees but it should be remembered we pay for our own water and electrical systems as well as the disposal of our refuse, the upkeep of the village common area,’’ she said.

While discussions are ongoing between residents and the council, a further licence fee increase of 43% was proposed as part of the 2022/23 plan, though the council has agreed to place this increase on hold until discussions over the first are complete.

The combined increases would bring the village’s annual fees from $815 to $1855 from 2021 to 2023.

‘‘The ongoing uncertainty and anxiety about the amount of future increases in our annual fee is affecting stress levels of some villagers, many of whom are elderly and on tight budgets,’’ Mrs McDonagh said.

Mrs McDonagh and her partner Brian have lived at Coopers Creek since 2006, and said they were aware of and accepted the only service council provided was the up-keep of the road to access their property. They believed...

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