2.96% rates increase approved

An average rates rise of 2.96% has been approved by the Waitaki District Council.

The council passed its 2019-20 annual plan and subsequently set the rates at its meeting yesterday.

The rates increase for the 2019-20 financial year is a 1.13% decrease in the projected rates requirement approved last year for the second year of the council's 2018-28 long-term plan, council documents show.

In the 10-year plan approved last year the council expected to need a rates take of $32,522,000 to cover spending in 2019-20, but after a series of four workshops, which began in November, council deliberations on May 14, and a subsequent June 11 council meeting, the total rates requirement was pared back to $32,155,000.

As there had been no significant changes to the second year of the council's long-term plan - and with extensive consultation already under way for its Oamaru Harbour master plan and its district plan review - the council ''took a slightly different approach this year'', council finance and corporate development group manager Paul Hope said.

The council opted to forego a separate full public consultation for this year's annual plan.

It also set its new fees and charges schedule yesterday.

Mr Hope said fees were being increased incrementally to avoid larger increases in future.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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