Mylestom, Raleigh and Repton get free sewerage connection

Protecting the health of the river is the main focus of the new sewerage system
Protecting the health of the river is the main focus of the new sewerage system

Residents of Mylestom, Raleigh and Repton whose properties fall within the bounds of the new $22.5m sewerage system will not have to pay for their initial connection.

While they will no doubt be delighted, people on Newry Island, Crescent Close and Yellow Rock who had to fork over sums ranging from $6,800 to $20,000 under previous schemes may be less impressed.

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Explaining the recommendation, the report presented to councillors at Wednesday's meeting said that 50 per cent of the funding for the current Sewering Coastal Villages Project came from a state government grant, whereas for earlier projects, council had been unsuccessful in its applications for funding to reduce or negate costs to residents.

"As a result of receiving the grant funding it is recommended that no connection fee be charged for residential domestic premises as the grant funding covers their contribution," the report said.

The push to sewer the coastal villages comes from the fact that the Bellinger and Kalang river systems have suffered multiple closures over the years due to faecal contamination, mainly from failing septic systems.

Such events impact on public health, the environment, local businesses and tourism.

Most of the sites that will be sewered this time are classed as high risk, with sandy soils on undersized blocks, many fronting the Bellinger River.

Maps indicating the areas to be sewered show that while the whole village of Mylestom and the whole of Raleigh's industrial area is included, only selected properties will be connected in other sections of Raleigh and Repton.

The major focus is any property that sits within 200m of the waterway.

Matt Fanning

"The major focus is any property that sits within 200m of the waterway," said Deputy General Manager Operations Matt Fanning.

Other resolutions passed at the meeting included that commercial operations using less than 20kL/day should pay 25 per cent of the connection cost for internal infrastructure, while those using more than that should pay the full amount.

Matt Fanning said the 100 per cent impost would apply to Norco, should it decide to join.

He said Norco have an EPA licence to discharge some wastewater into the river and council is in discussions with them about joining the sewerage scheme.

"It would be best for the river and the environment that a large business like that is connected," Cr Toni Wright-Turner said.