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Council announces general rates increase of 2.32 Per Cent

Wednesday 27 June 2012, 5:06PM

By Waikato District Council

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WAIKATO

Waikato District Council’s emphasis was on ‘affordability and maintaining what we have’ when it adopted its Long Term Plan yesterday.

Following submission hearings and deliberations on the draft Long Term Plan, the council announced a 2.32 per cent increase in the district’s general rates for 2012.

This is a reduction from the 2.4 per cent increase signalled in the draft Long term Plan. Savings from interest rate decreased arising from the local government funding agency have been applied to reduce the general rate.

Mayor Allan Sanson said people will see changes in the final Long Term document from the draft.

“And that’s as it should be, as we rely on the public’s submissions and feedback to provide us with insights into the issues that affect our communities on a daily basis. Through the plan process, we can then make the decisions that will reflect, and where we can, alleviate, those concerns.”

In total the council received 298 submissions, which addressed a wide range of issues, from transport, to community grants, debt, affordability and rates, and libraries. The overriding themes regarded debt levels, council benchmarking against other councils and efficiency, said Mayor Sanson.

“We are operating in a tough economic climate, so we have had to make some tough decisions with many deserving projects and issues put forward for our consideration.

“The final plan shows that we have been able to include some of those requests, while making savings in other areas to compensate. Others we have noted, but not included, for future years.

“Our emphasis has been on affordability and maintaining what we have and we’re confident the final plan demonstrates this.”