Final scrutiny for rates rise

An overall rates rise of 4.55% proposed by the Waitaki District Council in its draft annual plan will get a final scrutiny at a council meeting on Tuesday.

The council's committee of the whole, at a meeting on February 15 spent almost a day going through the annual plan, making adjustments which need final approval from the council next week, before going out to the public for feedback.

However, while the overall rates rise is 4.55%, the impact on individual ratepayers will vary - some will face bigger increases in their rates bills and others less than the 4.55%.

That is because the larger increases will be on ratepayers whose water schemes are being upgraded in the next financial year to meet Government drinking water standards. Consumers on individual water schemes have to pay for their upgrading.

Upgrading water supplies, including Weston-Enfield, make up 1.45% of the overall 4.55% increase.

Strategy group manager Richard Mabon said the council's meeting on Tuesday was the last opportunity for councillors to debate the draft annual plan before it went out for public submissions.

He said councillors should not make major changes to the draft plan because staff did not have the resources to do so and still meet the timetable. That would not frustrate the council's wish to have any increase as low as possible.

That timetable has public submissions opening on March 23, closing on April 29, being heard by the council on May 18 and 19.

That would have final approval of the plan at a council meeting on June 21.

Mr Mabon emphasised the draft annual plan was a proposal at this stage and subject to "many public submissions".

"Projects and budgets can be reviewed after submissions are heard," he said.

Councillors had asked for a closer look at the detail in the budgets, which would be available before public submissions were heard.

- david.bruce@odt.co.nz

 

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