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Thursday
Dec092010

Boat Ramp Fees (2)

As anticipated, and following what was clearly a "closed shop" workshop decision, Council resolved at its meeting on 8 December to "suspend enforcement" of Boat ramp Charges introduced after the last round of  LTCCP consultation, until 30 June 2011. The clear intention to permanently reverse the decision at that time was signaled.

The decision raised more questions than it answered, in particular in regard to how the loss of revenue would be balanced in the books. Finance Controller, Steve Baker asked the question , but did not get an answer, so presumably the matter is left to community boards, and at some point the $720,000 cost will need to allocated in some way through rates, or savings made elsewhere.

Interestingly, tickets will continue to be sold to the unaware, presumably from outside the District. Seems that this may raise a question of false pretenses, but presumably this has been well thought through by those who have instituted this action.

Cr. Wyn Hoadley quite rightly objected to an ill-conceived attempt by Cr. McLean to extend the "non-enforcement" by the appointed officers to WOF's and Registration - not something she could possibly approve as a officer of the Court!

Expect paying ramp users at Sugar Loaf, Waikawau and Wangamata to demand similar treatment, or equivalent concessions, in regard to their ramps when this decison is finally put in place.

Non-boat owner rate-payers will in due course pick up their share of the subsidy that effectively now applies to the operation of Council owned boat ramps through their rates - not the most progressive decision for a Council to have taken at the outset of its term, but no doubt campaign promises need be kept to save face for all concerned.

 

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Reader Comments (3)

yikes what is JT [Jack] Wells, Councillor, on about in his letter to the editor in the Coastal News 23rd Dec?
Has the light just come on re the fact that the amnesty voted through unaniousily by Council on Dec 8th will now impact on our beloved Whangamata ramp. Yip not only Whangamata but also Sugar Loaf in Coromandel [on that dreaded Western seaboard side] where fees went down from $10.00 to $6.00 [per launch] and now thanks to this current Council - zero!!. All of a sudden Mr Wells realises that no money in from the launching permits means that his local ratepayers will have to stump up with the money to maintain the channel/facilities - now that is not bright Mr.Councillor is it?
Mr. Wells is urging boaties to pay anyway as he has done ["I encourage all of my boating buddies to keep paying this permit fee---"]- as the Tui ad says - 'yeah right'
It beggars belief that the new Council would give an amnesty when the main problems had,to my knowledge, been resolved by the previous Council.
the comment that ramps largeley don't measure up is rubbish - the Matarangi ramp is first class, having had over $140,000 spent on it this year - Cooks Beach ramp is fine, there is a concrete ramp at Tairua wharf, great facilities at Sugar Loaf , Whangapoua has had thousands spent by past Councils on road widening and parking [they ripped out all of the signage at a huge cost to Council]- the Kuaotunu Ratepayers Assoc. supported, yes supported, ramp permits in their area, Whitianga has had money spent on an upgrade before Christmas,-- but no this Council buckled down under the demands of the 2 Mercury Bay Councillors - despite the fact I believe some $100,000 has been spent over the past 4 years on commissioned reports about where best to build a ramp at Whitianga - they already have a boat ramp at the marina as part of that marinas consent and also the possibility of a PPP with Hoppers for a dry stack and launching facility in the Bay.
As Mr. Wells states in his letter --"in summary, we now have a first class amenity for boating activities. It would be a retrograde step to to pursue alternative funding sources." - maybe you should have thought about that when you discussed "boat ramp amenity fees' in your closed Council workshop - for somebody [read ratepayer] will have to pay and I for one will object - you see, we don't own a boat, and nor do many of my mates in this town of yours and mine!!

December 29, 2010 | Unregistered Commentercyclops

Never a truer post has been made - you should have saved it to 1 January, and won the wine.
Everything you say is true, and exemplifies the stupidity of decisions made in haste under the influence of councilors who made big promises during the campaign. When will it all end?

December 30, 2010 | Unregistered Commenterbillbarc

just back from Sugar Loaf wharf at Coromandel -[try my luck on the other side] - what a shambles now there is no charging at all - used to be $10.00 per launch - then $6:00 [who said things don't go down with Council] and now zero - boat trailers/vehicles all over the place - hear through the grapevine that TCDC staff not impressed with Councillors decision so now taking a hands off approach in implementing by-laws and there is a whisper one maybe two staff are looking for employment elsewhere [part of Leach's staff reduction through a sinking lid policy he expoused on the campaign trail??] - well all I can say -it was a dumb decision - thousands of dollars lost because of one or two Councillors [don't worry about predetermination] buckled under pressure from non permanent resident boaties-lets hope commonsense prevails - and we at least restore charging at our ramp in Whangamata

January 4, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterKingfish

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