Building a Strong and Vibrant Future for SouthTaranaki
Tuesday, March 17, 2015
SouthTaranaki District Councillors approved their Proposed Long Term Plan 2015 –2025 Consultation Document for public feedback at today’s (Monday 16 March) special meeting.
The Consultation Document, which will be delivered to South Taranaki households in early April, is a summary of the Council’s Proposed Long Term Plan and outlines the key issues, projects and services the Council intends on carrying out over the next ten years – along with the impact on rates.
In the Plan Council is proposing a modest 2.5% average annual rate increase over the next ten years, which is less than the Local Government rate of inflation.
SouthTaranaki District Mayor, Ross Dunlop says the proposed Plan reflects Council’s approach to building a strong and vibrant district.
“Previously,Council’s focus has been on upgrading our water and wastewater infrastructure and key community facilities. We are now in the enviable position of having completed most of the costly upgrades that many Councils’ are still facing,”says Mr Dunlop.“The focus for the next ten years is on maintaining our current assets and core services as well as implementing projects to retain and grow our population,” he says.
“One of the key challenges we face, as for most rural council’s in New Zealand, is how to retain and grow our population (and ratepayer) base. If South Taranaki is to achieve its potential we must not only retain existing residents but attract new skilled workers and their families to the District,” says Mayor Dunlop.
“A second key challenge is how we respond to the upcoming changes in the government’s earthquake prone buildings legislation. To respond to these challenges Council has proposed a number of projects such as the Hawera Town Centre Development, the District Walkways and Cycleways Project and the Earthquake Prone Buildings Assistance Package designed to make South Taranaki an attractive and desirable place to live and do business,” he says.
“At the same time Council is very conscious of the need to keep rates at an affordable level. Consequently we are proposing to fund our key projects with existing reserves and earnings from the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund, rather than through rates,” says Mr Dunlop.
“With an average total rate increase of 2.5% per year over the next ten years, we believe our proposed Long Term Plan strikes the right balance between progress and affordability, but now Council wants to know what our residents think.”
Public consultation on the Council’s proposed Long Term Plan starts on 30 March and runs till 6 May.
Projected Total Expenditure over next ten years - $646 m
Projected Total Revenue over next ten years - $648 m
Average total rates increase over next ten years 2.5% pa
Projected total debt by 2025 - $142m
Projected value of Long Term Investment Fund by 2025 - $162 m