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The owners of 11 houses along the South East region’s arguably most expensive street have agreed to pay almost $12,000 each to assist with costs associated with undergrounding power lines.

The lion’s share of the costs of undergrounding power lines at The Esplanade at Robe’s Long Beach are to be met by a State Government agency.

The Robe District Council finalised the funding arrangement at its special meeting last week.

The council had secured funding to meet two-thirds of the estimated $475,000 cost of removing the Stobie poles and overhead lines but there was a $153,000 shortfall.

In a discussion paper, the council said it did not consider using general rate revenue would be fair to all ratepayers and a separate rate was the only way council could raise the funds for the project.

Three ratepayers have committed to donate $40,000 to stage one which left an amount of $113,401 to be funded via a separate rate.

Council chief executive James Holyman wrote to the 11 ratepayers directly impacted by stage one of the undergrounding project and obtained their formal written commitment to the separate rate.

“Preliminary consultation with the impacted ratepayers indicated that many would prefer the separate rate to be applied over five years,” stated a staff report.

“Council will be taking out a five-year loan with the Local Government Finance Authority and the indicative interest rate of 4.5% is included in the share of $11,627.50 for each ratepayer over five years.”

Public Consultation on the separate rate ran between May 18 and June 16.

In line with the Local Government Act, an information session was held in Robe on June 1 and a public meeting on June 15.

The feedback received during the process of public consultation and considered by council was one in favour, one not and another a query.

The person opposed to the separate rate does not live on The Esplanade.

The Esplanade at Long Beach at Robe has a number of million-dollar homes with the owners including prominent business identities and leading farming families.

There were multiple seven-figure house sales along The Esplanade during the 2021 calendar year.

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