Council works on lower rate rises

File picture

MAYOR Meng Foon has told a public-excluded workshop of district councillors that District Council staff are working on a plan to keep rates increases between 4 and 6.5 percent.

The mayor said this was the second prioritisation workshop the council had held to discuss the financial situation after they were told it had ended the last financial year with a deficit of $5.1 million.

Mr Foon said staff were asked to work on a scenario that kept rates between 4 and 6.5 percent, and prioritised roads and three waters infrastructure.

“Debating wants and needs, and being fiscally responsible, is a difficult task," he said.

The council was focused on getting back to basics and doing those basics well. A high-level financial strategy was discussed and councillors reiterated the need to look at forms of income other than rates. Partnerships would be critical to achieving this.

In line with the earlier discussion at the Future Tairawhiti committee regarding the development contributions policy review, the council also discussed the importance of primary beneficiaries paying for services.

“We will land in an area of supporting growth with environmental stewardship.”

Staff presented a high-level option that ensured core assets would be renewed and all statutory requirements including health and safety would be delivered.

This option included a reduction in funding for other non-core council activities.

Based on historical spend, it was suggested that a manageable capital expenditure programme would be around $30 million a year, with some peaks for major projects.

“Staff have been asked to refine options and consider further revenue streams.

“We expect full draft estimates to be provided to the council in January, with indicative estimates in December,” Mr Foon said.

MAYOR Meng Foon has told a public-excluded workshop of district councillors that District Council staff are working on a plan to keep rates increases between 4 and 6.5 percent.

The mayor said this was the second prioritisation workshop the council had held to discuss the financial situation after they were told it had ended the last financial year with a deficit of $5.1 million.

Mr Foon said staff were asked to work on a scenario that kept rates between 4 and 6.5 percent, and prioritised roads and three waters infrastructure.

“Debating wants and needs, and being fiscally responsible, is a difficult task," he said.

The council was focused on getting back to basics and doing those basics well. A high-level financial strategy was discussed and councillors reiterated the need to look at forms of income other than rates. Partnerships would be critical to achieving this.

In line with the earlier discussion at the Future Tairawhiti committee regarding the development contributions policy review, the council also discussed the importance of primary beneficiaries paying for services.

“We will land in an area of supporting growth with environmental stewardship.”

Staff presented a high-level option that ensured core assets would be renewed and all statutory requirements including health and safety would be delivered.

This option included a reduction in funding for other non-core council activities.

Based on historical spend, it was suggested that a manageable capital expenditure programme would be around $30 million a year, with some peaks for major projects.

“Staff have been asked to refine options and consider further revenue streams.

“We expect full draft estimates to be provided to the council in January, with indicative estimates in December,” Mr Foon said.

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