TasWater questions council fees

Cr Martyn Evans discussing his Glenora Rd
funding proposal at last week’s meeting.

A REQUEST to reduce the council fees on a huge water infrastructure project at New Norfolk will be countered with a proposal to spend surplus funds on roadworks.

TasWater has asked the Derwent Valley Council to reduce its estimated development application fees totalling $370,000 on its proposed $200 million upgrade of the Bryn Estyn water treatment plant.

The council on Thursday night agreed to negotiate, but said it would prefer to charge the full amount. It had not recently had a development application for a project of this value, and it was suggested its own costs could exceed $100,000.

Councillor and former mayor Martyn Evans said the council should offer to spend any change from the estimated fee of $370,000 on upgrades to Glenora Rd. Cr Evans said this council-owned road provided access to the Bryn Estyn plant and was in need of upgrading. “It would be a good use – a community service agreement with TasWater,” Cr Evans said.

In a letter to the council, TasWater said the proposed fee was excessive, suggesting $35,000 to $40,000 would be more appropriate. Built just outside New Norfolk in 1962, the Bryn Estyn plant provides more than half of greater Hobart’s drinking water.

“The TasWater Capital Delivery Office propose to upgrade and expand the water treatment plant to ensure it can continue to provide high quality drinking water and meet projected demand … to 2046,” TasWater’s Eve Lancaster said in the letter to the council.

Councillors Frank Pearce, Luke Browning and Julie Triffett spoke of the need to negotiate the fee to be charged to TasWater, with Cr Browning pointing out that the council had costs other than those involved in planning, with TasWater’s activities at Bryn Estyn likely to cause further deterioration of Glenora Rd.

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