Waimate rates up 13.6% due to ‘cost pressures’

Mayor Craig Rowley. PHOTO: ODT files
Mayor Craig Rowley. PHOTO: ODT files
The Waimate District Council has adopted its annual plan, along with an overall rates increase of 13.6%.

Mayor Craig Rowley said that was a slight reduction from the 13.8% that was proposed, which was the council’s preferred option for the 2024-25 financial year.

"This plan is one that allows us to maintain current levels of service and prioritises looking after our existing assets."

This year was scheduled to be the first year of the Long Term Plan 2024-34. However, due to uncertainty around government reforms and direction, the council produced an Enhanced Annual Plan for 2024-25 and a nine-year long term plan will be created next year.

The council also confirmed it would remove the Boland Park Learn to Ride project from the council’s list of projects.

The removal of the project would enable the council to redirect $130,000 from the government’s Better Off Fund towards Local Water Done Well activities.

Mr Rowley said removing the project would make only a very small saving for ratepayers. The overall rates increase was not due to ambitious projects but reflected the increased costs to the council’s core business.

"We are aware this comes at a financially difficult time for some people. Unfortunately, we are not immune to inflation and bear many of the same cost pressures as everyone else.

"Costs have increased on all fronts.

"Water, roading, waste management, and government compliance are some of the services which council needs to provide and have all become much more expensive."

The council received 34 submissions from the public, and 10 of those submitters spoke at the hearings.

The full annual plan 2024-25 document is available to view on the Waimate District Council’s website.