A developer planning to construct a car wash on Victoria Street says they shouldn't be slapped with a $90,000 bill for water and sewerage.
In May, Dubbo Regional Council granted approval for a car wash to be built in Victoria Street. It will include one automatic drive-through wash bay, three self-serve wash bays and four vacuum bays.
Initially, council was going to charge the applicant more than $325,000 for the sewerage and water contributions. However, after the developer called for the figure to be reviewed, it was reduced to $90,000.
The developer wants it to be cut even further. Based on their own calculations, they say it should be about $26,000.
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It's a complicated process.
Council's water and sewerage contributions policy doesn't have a section for commercial car washes.
The first contribution figure was based on a formula from the Water Directorate. The second came from usage rates from a similar car wash and the demand around water at certain times of day.
The developer has calculated the amount they should owe based on the size of the proposed car wash in comparison to one they already operate.
After about 30 minutes of debate and clarification at council's Planning, Development and Environment Committee meeting, councillor John Ryan called out the confusion.
He questioned using the Water Directorate to calculate the figures when it seemed to be "so far out of whack".
"It seems we're making something very confusing which to me should be a simple formula. I'm not happy that I can't get my head around it after quite a bit of discussion."
In the end, the councillors voted to defer a decision on the car wash.
Cr Ryan said he wouldn't be comfortable voting on the contribution costs without more information.
Councillor David Grant agreed.
The issue will be discussed again in a fortnight at the August council meeting.