'Real rate' increase of 4.1% approved

Tim Cadogan.
Tim Cadogan.
An increase in Central Otago rates revenue of 5.6% for the coming financial year was approved by Central Otago district councillors after a low-key discussion yesterday.

The 2019-20 annual plan adopted at the Central Otago District Council meeting did not differ from the draft plan previously approved, so there was little discussion about it.

But the ''real rate'' of the increase was noted. Although the gross rates increase was 5.6%, when the district's growth rate of 1.5% was subtracted, it left a ''real rate'' increase to ratepayers of only 4.1%, councillors heard.

They were also reminded that although the overall rates revenue across the district would increase by an average of 5.6%, individual wards might have different rates of increase.

For example, there will be a 3% average rates increase for Alexandra residential properties, but an average 8% increase for Alexandra lifestyle properties.

The council is budgeting on revenue of $49.5 million in 2019-20, of which $30.9 million will come from rates. It is proposing to spend $43.1 million.

Councillors had previously noted the overall costs of various upcoming capital projects had not changed, but some had been shifted to different financial years from those initially scheduled.

Major capital spending for 2019-20 includes $8.8 million on Clyde's wastewater scheme, but $5.6 million for stage one of the Lake Dunstan water supply project has been deferred until 2020-21.

The annual plan shows 11% of Central Otago rates is spent on water, 14% on wastewater, 20% on roading, 10% on environmental services and 16% on pools, parks and cemeteries.

There was no formal consultation for the 2019-20 Central Otago annual plan, as there was no significant change from year two of the council's 2018-28 Long Term Plan.

Mayor Tim Cadogan and council chief executive Sanchia Jacobs said in the annual plan document the lack of consultation was a ''break from tradition'' for council, but also '' an exciting milestone. It means we are producing robust long-term plans''.

Many other councils in New Zealand were not going through a consultation process for their annual plans this year, they said.

Key 2019-20 projects

, Investigations for the upgrade to improve treatment standards for Cromwell water will start.

, Detailed design stage for Clyde wastewater reticulation will get under way.

, Construction of the pipeline for the Lake Dunstan Water Supply project will continue.

, The upgrade of Clyde’s heritage precinct will begin.

, Work on the 5ha residential subdivision on council land near Alexandra’s netball courts will continue.

pam.jones@odt.co.nz

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