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The Southland District Council is proposing a 5.61% rise for district rates for 2012-13 in its draft 10 Year Plan, released for public consultation at yesterday's Council meeting. Councillors approved the draft plan, which will be available online tomorrow (Thursday, April 5), and a summary document should arrive in every district mailbox mid-April. Submissions close on May 9.
Southland Mayor Frana Cardno said the proposed rates increase is less than what was in the last 10 year plan and is made up of a 1% increase in insurance costs, a 1% increase to cover Central Government's reduction in road funding, and additional funding for grants to Stadium Southland and the Regional Heritage Trust.
"Council is pleased to approve this draft plan - we believe we are balancing the needs of our communities alongside ratepayer affordability," Mrs Cardno said.
One of the major proposed changes in the draft plan is the district funding of water and sewerage. In this proposal, ratepayers across the district will pay one rate for drinking water and one for sewerage if they are connected to or are able to be connected to a council scheme. Each rate is calculated based on the cost of the entire network of water/sewerage schemes in Southland District and includes operating and future capital costs.
"Some of our smaller communities are facing large costs in renewals and replacements, and this proposal will help make this more affordable for them," Mrs Cardno said.
It is important that all residents have a say on the issues and she encouraged everyone to read the summary document when it arrives, or go online to read the full draft and make a submission.
Submissions will be heard by Council on June 6 and 7. Council will amend the draft plan based on the submissions and adopt the 10 Year Plan on June 27.