Residents invited to have say

Jules Radich.
Jules Radich.
Dunedin Mayor Jules Radich is inviting the public to have their say on the Dunedin City Council’s draft Annual Plan 2024-25.

"Annual Plans are an important chance for Council to check in with our community. It’s an opportunity for us to update the public on what we’re doing and hear about their priorities for the year ahead," Mr Radich said.

"A lot of the focus has been on the rates rise proposed for the 2024-25 year, but there are other issues to consider as well."

Members of the public have until noon on April 24 to make a submission in writing or online at Submitters can also speak their submission at public hearings to be held in May.

Mr Radich said the draft budget included a proposed 17.5% average rates rise, and also a proposed 11% ($14-$25 per week) rent increase for the DCC’s community housing tenants, to offset rising costs.

The plan also includes a proposed change to ownership of the two artificial hockey turfs at the McMillan Hockey Centre at Logan Park.

The Otago Hockey Association wants to replace the turfs and council’s preferred option is to assume ownership of the turfs, borrow money to replace them and then lease the new fields back to the association.

"These sorts of decisions are important for our community, and we want to hear from as many people as possible before deciding our next steps, so I encourage everyone to have their say," Mr Radich said.

The proposed average rates increase includes 4.4% for the city’s new kerbside collection service, beginning on July 1, 2024. This cost amounts to $301.50 per household per year, or about $5.80 per week, which might actually be a cost saving for some residents, Mr Radich said.

Other essential services, such as the supply of safe drinking water and wastewater disposal, also had higher regulations to meet, he said.

"This, combined with ageing infrastructure in need of maintenance or replacement, means we are faced with higher costs which are simply unavoidable. The work needs to be done and cannot be ignored, but this adds another 5.4% to rates."

Much of the rest of the proposed rates increase is to cover the rising costs of insurance, inflation, depreciation and fuel, much of which is beyond council’s control.