Long Term Plan out for Consultation

Long Term Plan out for Consultation

Thursday, April 26, 2012

The South Taranaki District Council adopted its proposed 2012-2022 Long Term Pan for public consultation.

The Plan, which outlines the activities and services the Council intends to carry out over the next ten years, proposes a rate increase of approximately 4.7% for 2012/13. The average total rate increase over the next ten years (including inflation) is 4.8%.

South Taranaki Mayor, Ross Dunlop, says the Council has taken a prudent and conservative approach in planning for the next ten years.

“Over the last five years the Council has invested heavily in improving the district’s water and wastewater infrastructure and community facilities. Because we are now in the enviable position of having completed many of the costly upgrades that many Council’s are still faced with, the next ten years will be largely about consolidation and maintenance,” says Mr Dunlop.

However, while the medium to long term predictions for economic growth in Taranaki are also good, the global economic downturn and ongoing economic uncertainty in Europe has influenced Council’s planning.

“As a result of these uncertainties and in an effort to keep a tight rein on expenditure we are  proposing to reduce some previously budgeted expenditure, increase our level of debt repayments and trial new technology at Hawera wastewater treatment ponds which has the potential to save $3 million,” he says.

“The Council’s key focus over the next three years is on completing our district water infrastructure upgrade programme and planning for our future waste disposal needs as the Colson Road landfill nears the end of its life,” says Mr Dunlop.

63% of total expenditure over the next ten years is on the core services of Roading (24%), Water (21%) and Waste Services (18%).

Mr Dunlop says the challenge for any Council is striking the right balance between providing the services and facilities communities expect, while keeping rates at an affordable level.

“We’ve worked hard to achieve an average annual rate increase of less than 5% and we believe our Long Term Plan strikes the right balance but we want to know what our residents think. We want to make the best decisions we can for the future of South Taranaki and their feedback will help us do that,” says Mr Dunlop.

Summary and full copies of the Plan can also be viewed here or call 0800 111 323 for a copy to be sent to you.

Public meetings are also being held in the following towns:
Opunake - Thursday 12 April, 7.30 pm, Sandfords Event Centre
Waverley - Wednesday 18 April, 7.00 pm, Waverley Community Centre
Manaia - Thursday 19 April, 6.30 pm, Manaia Town Hall
Patea - Monday 23 April, 7.00 pm, Old Folks Hall
Eltham - Monday 23 April, 7.30 pm, Eltham Town Hall
Hawera - Thursday 26 April, 6.00 pm, Council Chambers, Albion Street
Kaponga - Tuesday 1 May, 7.00 pm, Kaponga Town Hall

Consultation runs from Thursday 12 April until Monday 14 May.


Key Features of Long Term Plan

Total rate increase 2012/13 approx 4.7%
Average annual rate increase over next ten years 4.8%

Main cost drivers:
- Investment and loan repayments for water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades
- Rising waste disposal costs (higher fuel costs, landfill charges, waste minimisation levy and ETS methane tax)
- General inflation
63% of total expenditure over the next ten years is on the core services of Roading (24%), Water (21%) and Waste Services (18%). Roading is the Council’s largest annual operating expense. Over the next ten years Council has budgeted $167 million for the Roading Activity.

Annual Debt repayments increased from $1.2 million to $3 million.

Complete water and wastewater infrastructure upgrades at: Eltham ($3.3 million), Opunake ($2.29 million), Waimate West ($16 million) and Rahotu ($2.28 million) water treatment plants, Patea reticulation ($500,000), Hawera western main sewer line ($3 million) and district wastewater pond de-sludging ($4 million).

Pensioner housing upgrades ($1.1 million) with proposal to sell Sherwood Units in Patea.

Hawera Holiday Park redevelopment reduced from $1.6 million to $450,000.

Kaponga swimming pool upgrade ($505,000)

Prepatory work on Regional Landfill at Eltham ($310,000)