Water Meter Row

Cr Lester disputes Ms Elliott’s figure on costs

By Alan Tristram
 

A senior Kāpiti Coast District councillor has taken issue with the figure given by an anti-water meter group for the cost of installing meters.

Cr Tony Lester,deputy chair of the corporate business committee, says the figure of $10 million  given by ‘Ask Us First’ chair Jackie Elliott is wrong.

He says the correct total is just below $8.5 million.

Cr Lester was a member of the KCDC Charging Regime Advisory Group (CRAG) and was in fact the Councillor who raised the issue of water meters to get it back on the Agenda in the first instance.

In a special message to the Kāpiti Independent, he says: “So it is a very strategic issue for me to maintain oversight on, in order to deliver the benefits that we are now clearly seeing with the significant reduction of leaks on the private side of the network.

Claim by Jackie Elliott

He says he approached the Independent because “you recently ran a claim by Jackie Elliott that the water meter installation project would cost $10 million. This is not correct.

“The Long Term Plan published just last year indicates the project cost is $6.66 million this financial year, and $1.51 million in 2013/14, making a total of just under $8.2 million. When adjusted for inflation, the total project cost is $8.4 million.”

He adds: “I have been informed that the project is progressing on time and within budget.

And Councillor Lester goes on to criticise the working methods of Ms Elliott, who was recently won an election to win a post on the Ōtaki Community Board.

He says: “Given this(the project cost of $8.4 million), I would encourage Ms Elliott to read the documents available to her first before jumping into print with incorrect figures, a tendency she has shown on too many occasions in the past.”

Jackie Elliott’s reply

Jackie Elliott replies:

“With regard to Mr Lester’s comments, Unlike Council whose figures are so water tight and robust they go over budget on virtually every single project.

“In my opinion $10 million figure given is conservative. Just ask the experts like Alan Tolra, the ex Green Plumber who quoted around $15 million by completion and got fired for releasiing this figure in the media. At not one time in any project has the current Council been on budget. The proof on water meter installations will be in the pudding.

“To clarify the above facts. My press statements are not made on behalf of any ratepayers’ group, but for the benefit of all ratepayers. There is no such group as “Ask Us First”.

“Again we have an ill considered, hasty response to a Council asked to explain itself to the ratepayers.

“It is a pity that Councillor Lester has resorted to the spreading of misinfomation again and he is well advised to take a far more considered and approach given his position.”

 

 

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Why is Tony Lester described as a “senior councillor”, is it his age, or what? Its sort of a put down to councillors like Jackie Elliot, who I understand is a grand mother but without Tony Lester’s grey top. They have both been elected in this triennium. I have never seen Peter Ellis or Dianne Ammunsdum who have both been on council for years, called “senior councillors”. I don’t understand this designation, please enlighten me.

Merran, what can I say, but:’You are quite right!’ Ed.

With regard to Mr Lesters comments, Unlike Council whose figures are so water tight and robust they go over budget on virtually every single project. In my opinion $10 million figure given is conservative. Just ask the experts like Alan Tolra, the ex Green Plumber who quoted around $15 million, by completion and got fired for releasiing this figure in the media. At not one time in any project has the current Council been on budget. The proof on water meter installations will be in the pudding.

To clarify the above facts. My press statements are not made on behalf of any ratepayers group, but for the benefit of all ratepayers. There is no such group as “Ask Us First”.

Again we have an ill considered, hasty response to a Council asked to explain itself to the ratepayers.
It is a pity that Councillor Lester has resorted to the spreading of misinfomation again and it he is well advised to take a far more considered and approach given his position.