Special Charge Schemes are used to pay for roads, footpaths and drains that benefit peoples land. They are paid for by the land owner.
The law allows us to pass on the cost of building sealed roads, kerb and channel, footpaths, underground drainage and other infrastructure. This is done because the construction of this type of infrastructure provides benefits of:
- all weather access
- flood protection and storm water drainage
- improved look
- reduced mud/dust
- improved road safety, etc.
The cost of the infrastructure in new subdivisions is shared across the lots so that the purchaser of the lots pays for the benefits provided by this infrastructure.
Properties without this type of infrastructure could attract a special charge scheme cost if we construct the missing pieces of infrastructure.
Only properties near the construction are required to pay in any special charge scheme.
Once a scheme is declared, the costs apply to all property owners within that scheme.
Our Special Rates and Charges Policy (SRCP) helps us to work out how the cost of the work is shared. The policy sets out the procedures and guidelines for providing works and services as set out under the Local Government Act 1989. The policy is a guide for the fair sharing of costs for those receiving a 'special benefit'.
Officers of our Engineering Services Department are available to answer any queries about the Policy and to talk about the ways of sharing costs for different projects.
Estimating the cost of works
Work carried out under a Special Rate and Charge Scheme is tendered to get the best price for the people included in the scheme.
Actual cost and peoples contributions are not able to be exactly known until all the works included in the scheme are finalised. Up to this point, we rely on engineering estimates.
Should we decide to proceed, detailed design plans and cost estimates are prepared for the works and the process for a special rates and charge scheme is started. People affected by the works will be told the likely costs and start date.
As a guide, a road scheme that includes sealing and kerb and channel construction could have a special charge scheme cost of between $2,000 and $25,000 per property. This depends on the size of the property and whether it is a corner block or part of a group of units. The average cost per property may be around $10,000 and a scheme may take up to 5 years to finish.
Footpath construction costs are in the order of $160 to $200 per metre to construct.