Current construction of the long-planned Wyangala Sewerage Scheme by the Department of Primary Industries (DPI) — Water will incur no added costs to ratepayers upon its transfer to Cowra Council, Cowra Mayor, Councillor Bill West said.
Cowra Council recently came to an agreement with DPI — Water on shared running costs of the system over 30 years after lengthy negotiation concerning the long-term project.
"Construction of the sewerage system was started earlier this year by DPI — Water contractors with the completed infrastructure to then be transferred to Council," Cr West explained.
"This will lead to a vastly-improved service for Wyangala residents with no added burden to Cowra ratepayers for the next 30 years," Cr West added.
Council had originally decided in December 2015 to agree in-principle to assuming control of the Wyangala system if three important pre-conditions could be met, Cr West said.
These were, that DPI — Water could guarantee that the new facility would be an acceptable standard; that there was no added cost to Cowra ratepayers; and that connection to the system for Wyangala residents would be comparable to charges for the rest of Cowra Shire.
"We finally agreed on a hand-over payment of $1.685,532 million from DPI — Water to run the system for the next 30 years; a figure that we believe Cowra can live with," Cr West said.
Contractors for DPI — Water started construction of the new sewerage system in February with the hand-over of the facility to Cowra Council later this year.
"Providing improved local services and enhanced quality-of-life for residents is one of the main functions of local government in NSW; we believe that this arrangement will achieve that for the residents of Wyangala while insulating Shire residents from any financial burden for this initiative,"
Cr West concluded.