The ratepayer gets screwed. Again.

The last few weeks have been quite interesting for the Shelly Bay development. We’ve found out about the city council ignoring requests for information:

Ombudsman launches ‘urgent’ investigation into Wellington City Council

There have been a a few drop-in question and answer sessions at Shelly Bay, that I suspect were an attempt to assuage the concerns of locals, but have only actually served to inflame them. We learned that all parking will be removed on Shelly Bay Road, so that anyone wanting to have a fish, or enjoy the afternoon sun on the beaches there won’t be able to do so any more. That cyclists currently enjoying the relaxed and native ride along the road will have to compete  with construction trucks, or be run off the road for the next 13 years, and will have to deal with a load more traffic after that. So we’re going to have to say goodbye to one of the cycling jewels in Wellington as well.

And then there’s this gem which showed up at the last drop-in (of which there were only two copies available for viewing by the public)

Wellington City Council Shelly Bay FAQ

What I immediately noticed, was more details of the dodgy infrastructure deal emerged. You know, the deal where you, the ratepayer are supposed to deliver $10 million in pure profit into the developers’ back pocket.

Well, it turns out that this isn’t the deal at all. The development company in fact dictated to the council that they would only pay for up to $10 million, that the costs would be 50/50 up to that limit, and that the ratepayer would have to pay for anything else.

Yes, that’s right, if the infrastructure costs balloon to $40 million, you the ratepayer will be on the hook for $30 million of that. What happens if the road needs significant widening, yup, you’ll be paying for that. New reservoirs? Yup, you’re paying for that as well.

When asked about the cost of the infrastructure at the last meeting, the Councillors in attendance (that would be Simon Marsh and Chris Calvi-Freeman for the record) admitted that no detailed planning had actually been done, so there really is no idea what the real cost might be.

So there it is, a development creating what amounts to a gated community of million dollar plus housing, to be subsidized by at least $10 million of your rates, and maybe much, much, more.

I think this is a travesty; that this is yet another case of government privatizing profits while socializing costs, and that the City Council should say NO to this deal and the sale of the land on principle.

Are you listening Paul Eagle?

Don’t forget to get your submission in by 5PM Monday August 14, 2017

CLICK HERE for the Wellington CIty Council Submission Site

or

CLICK HERE for a printable submission form.

 

UPDATE: the FAQ mentioned above is now on the council website as well:

Wellington City Council Shelly Bay FAQ