Waitaki Council settles on rates rise of 4.75%

The Waitaki District Council has marginally increased its rates rise for the coming financial year to 4.75%, responding to requests from submitters for additions to its 2011-12 annual plan.

The draft plan proposed an overall increase in the rates take of 4.55%. After considering public submissions, the council yesterday came up with an overall increase of 4.75%.

However, the effect on individual ratepayers will vary, with some ratepayers facing rises of up to 20% because their water schemes are being upgraded in the next financial year to meet government drinking-water standards.

The rates will formally be approved on June 21.

The council reduced the season ticket for launching boats from Waitaki lakes ramps from $80 to $50, but retained the $5 daily fee. Income from the new charges will be used to maintain ramp and harbour facilities. Public submissions either opposed the new charges or suggested changes.

The council approved spending $1.346 million on the Oamaru Harbour redevelopment and also allocated $105,000 for stage 2 of the Palmerston town centre upgrade, but subject to controls.

Requests from community groups for a community development officer would have added $85,000 to rates, but the council turned it down.

However, the council will work with organisations requesting the appointment to identify possible external funding for a community development position, allocating $5000 for a facilitator.

Two savings were $40,000 from the staff training budget and $57,000 from operating costs for the upgraded Palmerston-Dunback-Goodwood water supply, but the insurance budget was increased by $70,000 because of increases in premiums and requirements.

Other additions to the budget included $25,000 for enforcement of a freedom camping bylaw; $10,000 to implement the culture and heritage strategy and $7000 in hall rates rises.


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