Annual plan set for approval

Gary Kircher
Gary Kircher
The Waitaki District Council is poised to approve a 2.96% rates rise in the coming 2019-20 annual plan after the council approved a draft plan with very few changes to spending already programmed.

The annual plan, which is scheduled to be approved at the council's June 25 meeting, varies little from the council's second-year spending approved in its 2018-28 long-term plan.

Council finance and corporate development group manager Paul Hope told councillors yesterday was the ''last opportunity'' to make amendments to the annual plan, which remained primarily what had already been approved except for ''updated financials and minor amendments''.

Yesterday, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher successfully argued for a $25,000 boost - from $50,000 a year to $75,000 - to the ''well over-subscribed'' community grants fund, to be funded by the Whitestone Contracting dividend.

Cr Melanie Tavendale also argued successfully for the inclusion of the Waitaki District Youth Council's $5000 funding request, which would also be paid for by the Whitestone dividend.

In March, the council decided that because there was no material difference between the second year of the long-term plan it would not consult on this year's annual plan, but instead focus on the targeted ''major community consultations already under way'' for the Oamaru Harbour master plan and the district plan review.

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