Council Adopts 2014-2015 Annual Plan

Council Adopts 2014-2015 Annual Plan

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

A lower rate increase than projected and strong investment projections are two key features of the South Taranaki District Council’s 2014/15 Annual Plan which was formally adopted at last night’s (Monday 9 June) Council meeting.

South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop says as a result of a tight rein on spending, the Council was able to reduce the projected rate increase by more than 1.9% from what was initially projected in the Council’s Long Term Plan.

In response to public submissions on the Plan Council also introduced $141,000 of new funding which added 0.3% to the rates.

The final Annual Plan sees a District Rate* increase of 2.96% (4.90% projected in the Long Term Plan) and sees the Targeted Rates for water, wastewater and kerbside rubbish and recycling  rise by $17, $15 and $23 respectively.

The increases willimpact on different types of properties in different ways however total rates ( i.e. District Rate and all Targeted Rates) for the average urban residential property will increase by about 3.6%and total rates on rural properties will increase by about 1.8%.

For the average urban property this represents an increase of around $1.54 a week.

On the back of strong investment returns over the last 12 months the value of the Long Term Investment Fund is projected to increase to $120.8 million compared to the earlier projection of $112.4 million in the Long Term Plan.

Council has budgeted to spend $14.88 million on capital projects in 2014/15 of which almost half ($7.45 million) is for roads and footpaths.

Mayor Dunlop says the Council has completed most of its major infrastructure upgrades and by October 2014 the last of the major water projects, the Waimate West Water Supply upgrade, will be completed at an estimated total cost of $11 million.

“One of the most significant issues which the Council, along with all others across the Country, will be addressing is how we respond to the Government’s earthquake prone buildings legislation,” says Mayor Dunlop. “This legislation which is still being developed will result in significant changes for older buildings in our district and the Council has budgeted $100,000 for conducting earthquake risk assessments of Council owned buildings,” he says.

From public submissions Opunake was the main recipient of funding requests with $30,000 being granted for Opunake Beach projects, $29,333 for a new kitchen area at Everybody’s Theatre, $47,000 for roofing at Opunake Community Baths and $25,000* allocated to extend the public stormwater system in Napier Street to provide for run off from the soon to be built Coastal Care Health facility (*this will be funded from within the existing stormwater budget).

Other key projects the Council plans to work on in 2014/15 include; development of a network of district cycle and walkways, completion of the Hawera Town Centre Strategy, review of the District Plan, stage two of a district bylaw review, development of a Local Alcohol Policy and a Local Approved Products Policy to regulate where approved psychoactive substances may be sold in South Taranaki.

Copies of the Annual Plan will be available from the council’s website www.southtaranaki.com, or at any LibraryPlus facility or the Council’s administration building in Hawera from Friday 27 June.

* The District Rate is made up of the General Rate, Roading Rate and the Uniform Annual General Charge

You can read the 2014-2015 Annual Plan here.

By the numbers:

Total expenditure is $59.7 million

23% of Council expenditure goes into one activity – Roading

61% of all Council expenditure is on the 3 core activities of roads, water and waste.

38% of Council’s projected income will come from sources other than rates – 14% will come from the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund.

The value of the Long Term Investment Fund is projected to increase to $120.8 million compared to the earlier projection of $112.4 million in the Long Term Plan.

Total debt is projected to be $133.07 million by the end of 2014/15 - $800,000 less than was projected in the Long Term Plan.