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Rate increases and the rating system have dominated the 33 submissions received for this year’s Tararua district annual plan with more than half of the submitters opting to support their submission in person.
Hearings will be held tomorrow (Wednesday) at Eketahuna and Dannevirke.
Submissions are a pot pourri of brickbats and a few bouquets. There is clear recognition that Council is supporting the farming community by keeping the rate requirement realistic.
Issues of rural importance include concern at an increase in farm working dog fees, calls for more sealing of the Coast Rd to Akitio and funding of road maintenance.
Some rural ratepayers have urged the council to charge the maximum UAGC (Uniform Annual General Charge) as a more equitable way to spread the rates burden.
The council’s one off proposal to use depreciation reserves to fund roading projects has caused concern amid requests that the funding be restored in the near future.
Moves to meet resource consent requirements by improving the Eketahuna and Pahiatua sewage treatment plants are supported by Horizons Regional Council which has also offered science and technical support in some areas including biodiversity, water quality and groundwater availability.
There is support for exploration of groundwater sources to improve supply at Pahiatua and Woodville, and to include funding for similar in Eketahuna.
Tararua Federated Farmers urges the council to prioritise rating affordability whilst commending it for “taking on board the seriousness of the current farming situation.’
The Eketahuna Information centre would like an acknowledgement of its significance to the community by improved funding – in the long term community plan.
In the interests of water conservation one submission calls for the bulk purchase of water tanks by the council with the opportunity for residents to purchase at cost.
After tomorrow’s hearings the council will deliberate and make a final decision on the draft annual plan on the 28th May.