Board approves 11.6% rate increase

Raymond Gunn
Raymond Gunn
Earthquake strengthening of the Roxburgh Town Hall is contributing to a rates increase for Teviot Valley residents.

The 2019-20 draft annual plan was presented at the Teviot Valley Community Board meeting last week and the board approved a $42,000, or 11.6%, increase to its rates.

The community board rates make up 1.4% of the rates collected in the Teviot Valley area.

Community board chairman Raymond Gunn said it was a small increase in the grand scheme of things.

''If you look at it in the big picture, for Teviot Valley ratepayers, it's a miniscule amount,'' he said.

Mr Gunn confirmed it would pay for engineering fees and possibly asbestos removal.

Strengthening of the town hall from 34% to 67% of the national building standard (NBS) was to ensure it could be used in an emergency response situation.

Mr Gunn said the nearby Roxburgh Memorial Hall, also in Scotland St, had already been taken up to 67% NBS level as it was likely to be the controlling point for any disaster.

At last week's community board meeting, members deliberated on whether the work could be financed from the depreciation allocation of the budget, before the board signed off on the plan.

Mr Gunn said the full extent of the work required would not be known until an engineering report had been submitted.

''If we have to do a lot of work on strengthening the building itself, we may look at depreciation funds. But I can't guarantee that.

''It'll be something the board will decide at the time.''

Other factors for the increase included a rise in property staff cost allocations that were not included in the council's long-term plan.

The report said expenditure increases in open space contracts, including mowing and work on the river track, were also offered as a reason.

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