Redland City Council has just announced that they will be opening a community conversation with residents about how it maintains and repairs revetment walls in residential canals.
It follows a council decision to temporarily end the special charges levied on canal and lake-front homeowners while it develops a new strategy and also to refund unspent money quarantined for canal maintenance and repairs since 2011-12.
The decision affects property owners at Raby Bay, Aquatic Paradise and Sovereign Waters, the council said.
Redland City Council CEO, Bill Lyon, said that the decision followed a council review which raised questions about the way canal special charges had been levied since 2011-12.
“Following this review we believe it is only proper that we take this course of action,’’ Mr Lyon said.
“This is the result of a technical drafting error and once it was detected council has moved quickly and proactively to rectify it for affected residents.
“Council has received no direction to take this action – we are doing it as a proactive step and to maintain our standard of accountability.
“It is important to note that this decision does not affect services or funding for other areas of the city, as the money being refunded was collected from canal homeowners and quarantined specifically for work on canals, such as dredging, cleaning and, at Raby Bay, repairs to revetment walls.”
Mr Lyon said that the process for issuing refunds was now being worked through with independent accountants, with the number of refunds, amounts and method of refunds to be determined.
Currently there is approximately $9 million in the canal reserve, of which 20-30% was contributed by the council and which will not be subject to refunds.
Mr Lyon said that the council will be talking with residents about the refund process, as well as future arrangements for canal maintenance and revetment wall repairs.