As noted in a previous posting, we are having a light year for horses on the West Bench. Some residents have therefore posed a reasonable question: Why would we build an expensive fence if the horse problem is solved?
Ultimately this will go to some kind of voter assent process (likely a referendum) so you will be asked to decide this question for yourself. But a couple of things to consider:
- The herd has apparently been reduced by the PIB. However, we have no control over reproductive or removal rates for these horses and could find ourselves at some point in the future overun by another large herd. A fence would give us some measure of control over what happens on the West Bench side.
- The cost of a fence is not as high as most people assume. The general idea we try to achieve in regional districts is that the beneficiaries of a service pay. As such, we would spread the capital cost of the fence over a fairly long time period (say 20 years) so that current residents do not end up paying for something that will still be in place in 2030.
I have done some rough calculations on fence costs over a 20 year term. I have used recent per-meter costs and factored in cattleguards and 30% for contingency.
These are very rough numbers *** updated to reflect issue noted below on 18 Mar 10:
|Length of fence||15||km|
|Cost per meter||$ 11|
|Fence materials and labor||$ 165,000|
|Cattle guards||$ 50,000||guess|
|Contingency and engineering||30%|
|Total cost of fence||$ 279,500|
|Senior government grants||$ -|
|Net cost||$ 279,500|
|Number of housholds||600|
|Fence maintenance||$10,000||per year|
|Total capital and maintenance||$ 60.01||per household per year|