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The document which plans the next ten years of Council work, services and spending will be presented to Council for approval and adoption on 1 April and the consultation period is due to run from 8 April to 8 May, with hearings to be held on 25-28 May.
"We know people are concerned about rates rises and public debt," said WDC Chief Executive Officer Mark Simpson, "so we are pleased this important milestone has been reached and we are looking forward to releasing the draft Plan.
"The draft LTCCP proposes that rates be held to the Consumer Price Index, about 3%, which equates to a rates rise of around $50 for the average household; and that debt be capped at no more than $130 million.
"The proposed 3% includes all charges that usually appear in the rates bill. It works out that a 'hypothetical' average residential household will pay about $33 a week for all the services provided by Council.
"These include roads (maintenance, development, traffic lights, signs, footpaths, car parks and paving); waste water, waste management including recycling and street cleaning; stormwater management (drainage); fresh water; libraries; parks including reserves, playgrounds, walkways and traffic islands; community services; property, including Forum North and pensioner housing; building compliance; resource consents; policy and monitoring and regulatory services for the District, and all the planning and management that goes into providing these assets and services.
Mr Simpson said the current Council was elected in October 2007 with a strong mandate to lower rates increases and minimise debt. It meant Council had a very tight budget to work with to make sure that the planned work did not exceed the money available.
"At the same time the public have made it very clear that there are issues this Council has to invest in to sustain the quality of life for residents of the District.
"The public will want to have a say on the way Council manages stormwater and central business district flooding, wastewater, fresh water supply, solid waste disposal and transport in the next ten years.
"We expect people will be particularly keen to comment on the four different options for managing wastewater. The draft spells out these options.
"We are also seeking feedback from the public on the future of solid waste management, whether to continue trucking waste out of the District or to develop and manage a landfill at Puwera. The ways this could be done are outlined in detail."
Public meetings will start next week. The first will be held on Monday 30 March at 6pm at the Parua Bay Community Centre, immediately following a workshop about a proposed transfer station for the area.
The second meeting will be held at the Mangakahia Sport Complex on Tuesday 31 March at 6pm.
These meetings will focus on the broad content of the draft Plan and the process for making submissions and inform people how to access the draft Plan when it is released for comment on 8 April.
"We will also be distributing our summary of the document on 14 April. This is an opportunity for every person in this district to state their views and preferences through submissions to the plan," Mr Simpson said.