Biggest response to stadium issue

The Otago Regional Council's proposal to help fund the Awatea St stadium has ignited the most interest in ratepayers' submissions to its 2008-09 draft planning documents.More than 300 submissions have been received on the 2008-09 annual plan and proposed amendments to its long-term council community plan (LTCCP).

A panel begins hearing the submissions in Oamaru today, and is on a week-long tour of the region with stops in Alexandra and Queenstown early next week.

Submissions from Dunedin ratepayers will be heard tomorrow and Friday.

Some of the major changes to be considered are the $37.5 million funding request from the Carisbrook Stadium Trust, the introduction of compliance monitoring charges for resource consents and a split in the targeted rates for river management in the Queenstown Lakes district from one rating area into two rating areas, namely Wakatipu and Wanaka.

The importance of the issues has led the council to increase its advertising to reach as many ratepayers as possible.

Corporate services director Wayne Scott said people had identified the council's involvement in the stadium as an issue and the "comments had come from far and wide".

"We are pretty happy we did what we could in terms of consulting."

There were very few submissions on the other amendments to the long-term plan, he said.

"Apart from the stadium, there were a whole range of issues [identified]," he said.


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