No secrecy on water meters says Mayor Rowan
Mayor Jenny Rowan has rejected any suggestion of secrecy over water meters.
“Mr Turver has got his facts wrong again,” says Mayor Rowan, in response to a statement from Mr Turver (see story below).
“The situation is this. In late March our infrastructure people met with local contractors to get feedback on how the water meter installation work could be carried out to maximize their involvement, if, and I emphasise, IF Council eventually decides to proceed with water meters.
“This is potentially a big project worth $8 million and we are keen to see local contractors get as much of the work as possible, if we proceed.”
She says: “Tender documents were drawn up based on the feedback we got from the local contractors and placed on LG Tenders NZ and on the Government GETS site.
“There was absolutely no secrecy surrounding this process; in fact the complete opposite. The documents were placed on very public websites used by local government and government agencies and viewed regularly by national and local contractors, so there will be no surprises.
“If Mr Turver took the time, he would see the very clear caveat on the tender documents that the awarding of a tender will depend entirely on the outcome of a Council decision that has yet to be made. This was also made clear to the contractors who attended the briefing in March.”
Mayor Rowan said there were three significant reasons for issuing the tender documents. “The first was to ensure local contractors had the best possible chance of securing some or all of the work, if we proceed.
“The second was to test the market for prices. It was especially important to get some certainty over the installation costs, if we proceed with the project. The third was timing.
“We have made it clear all the way through that if we proceed with water meters, then there will be a six month trial period when residents will still be paying under the existing annual charge system but also get sample invoices based on the new system.
“To do this, the meters will need to be installed as soon as possible so the trial period can take place before the new system comes into effect on July 1, 2014.
“I need to emphasise that NO contracts have been entered into and won’t be until Council has made a final decision. This decision will be made on June 7 and ratified on June 28.
“In the meantime, we will continue with the hearings on the Draft Long Term Plan and take note of any persuasive arguments raised.”