COUNCIL

Kaipara Zero Rate Increase BUT Roads will Suffer

Tuesday 23 March 2010, 10:50AM
By Kaipara District Council
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DARGAVILLE

“Despite having the rug pulled from under our feet by Central Government, through the actions of New Zealand Transport Agency, and having the brakes put on our planned roading programme, Council remains committed to the delivery of key services and keeping general rate increases as low as possible,” says Kaipara District Council Mayor Neil Tiller.

In it’s draft annual plan, which details the proposed goals of Kaipara District Council for the year from 1 July, Kaipara District Council has announced a proposed 0% General Rate increase. However, it warns the districts roads will go backwards.

“In 2009 Council formulated a roading proposal for sealing projects and preventative maintenance. However Central Government, through NZ Transport Agency, has reduced the budgeted funding for Council’s roading by $5.5million, from a budgeted $23million to $17.5million. That is $5.5million less for Council to spend on developing and maintaining our districts road network,” explained Mayor Tiller.

“This is going to have a major impact on the Kaipara community. The brunt of the impact will be on the seal extension programme and preventative maintenance. Kaipara’s roads will go backwards and Kaipara’s social and economic wellbeing will be hit hard,” says Mayor Tiller.

Despite that, Mayor Tiller explained that Council want to continue the level of service in other areas. “Council is very aware of the financial pressures our community is facing. Coming out of the tail end of a recession Council has committed to a plan which provides for a 0% increase in general rates. We have been prevented from completing the roading works we want to. But it will allow us to focus on improving the level of service in other areas whilst not having to increase general rates”, Mayor Tiller explained.”

Councillors have been holding Community Meetings on the draft Annual Plan for the past week to discuss the goals of the plan. As part of that consultation Ratepayers are being asked what initiatives they would like to see put in place this year.

Mayor Tiller says Council is trying to balance the public’s expectations for delivery of services with their ability to pay. “Council is aware of the current pressures on our community and that money is tight at the moment. However we are also mindful that a 0% increase means there will be limited funds available to do all that needs to be done. We want to deliver the services the public want but to do anything extra it is necessary to have the funds in place to do that.”

“The final rates adopted by Council will effectively depend on submissions made during the public consultation on the draft Annual Plan and if the community say they want us to deliver extra services. If Ratepayers want additional programmes, plans or initiatives we can develop the plan further and provide for a small rates increase in order to do that.”

KDC continues to charge one of Country’s lowest general rates whilst delivering high level of services compared to their counterparts. The 0% increase relates to general rates and annual uniform general charge only. The average increase for targeted rates in relation to wastewater, water and stormwater services will be 5%.

Copies of the Annual Plan are available at Council offices, local libraries and at the Council website, www.kaipara.govt.nz