Rates increase of 3.49% on the cards

Southland residents can expect an overall increase of 3.49% in their rates.

A draft of the 2019-20 Southland District Council's annual plan included an increase of about $68,000 in rates.

The yearly adjustment would be slightly higher compared with the 3.34% forecasted in the long-term plan.

According to the document, which council will discuss at a meeting tomorrow, the key contributor to the rise was "change in operational contracts''.

The document stated the council was not required to consult on the draft annual plan because it did not differ a lot from what was in the long-term plan.

The majority of the changes were related to capital works projects for roading, sewerage and water renewals.

Core projects in the annual plan included $12.8million to be spent on the Te Anau wastewater project, including construction of the 18km pipeline from Te Anau to the Kepler Block; $1.9million for repair and replacement of water pipes in Otautau and Te Anau; and $179,000 to improve and better manage its open spaces as parks, reserves and other recreational areas.

The draft also budgeted $1.5million to replace the Pyramid Bridge, which connects the Southland and Gore districts.

The wooden bridge, which had spanned the Mataura River for 88 years, collapsed during a flood last year.

Both councils would be sharing the cost of replacement along with NZ Transport Agency, which has approved a budget of $6.8million for the project and would be funding 73.68% of these costs.

The report also identified an infrastructure issue in relation to the bridges in the district which would be addressed in the 2021-31 long-term plan.

It said 850 structures would need to be replaced within 10 years.



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