Annual Plan 2020-21 adopted
Released: 25 June 2020
Council adopted the Annual Plan 2020-21 today following public consultation. Council had been preparing the Annual Plan as normal in the months leading up to March events when the world changed as New Zealand went into an Alert Level 4 lockdown to slow the spread of COVID-19.
Knowing the pressures that ratepayers and our community would be under in coming months, Council went back to the drawing board and amended the proposed plan to achieve a zero percent average rate revenue increase.
Our rates revenue increase identified in the Long Term Plan had been 7%. Council reduced this to 0% by delaying the implementation of the wheelie bins until July 2021, not funding some of the three waters asset replacement reserves for a period of one year, tightening our belt where possible without impacting levels of service too much, postponing a few projects, staging other programmes over several years and deciding against doing several initiatives all together.
“A zero percent rate revenue increase means Council is not collecting any more total rates than we did in the 2019-20 year,” said Ben Smit, Council’s Chief Executive. “This does not mean that every ratepayer won’t have an increase in rates as individual properties have a different mix of services and situations.”
The vast majority of ratepayers will see a small decrease in rates (more than 7,800 properties), while 2,100 properties will see an increase, most moderate.
“Essentially 95% of properties have changes between -3% to +4.7%, with 98% of properties having changes between -12.5% to +7.4%,” continued Mr Smit. “Of these the largest deceases are non-profit organisations with rates remissions. The largest increases are some of the properties with rubbish collection added.”
Around 2% of properties will have larger rate increases generally relate to property changes such as new subdivisions, new buildings and signing up to a clean heat programme.
Several other smaller decisions were also made, including:
- Introducing CCTV and Wifi into the Tīrau CBD for improved community safety.
- Making funding for recycling more equitable across all ratepayers, depending on the level of service.
- Including the Pellikan Place area into our urban household waste collection service, following requests from some residents.
- Tidying up two waste collection anomaly areas in Amisfield and Baird Road, where residents historically got a recycling collection but not a rubbish collection. Council will now be delivering both services to this area.
“Council is also working on a COVID-19 recovery plan. This involves applying for government funding for infrastructure projects to create construction jobs to bring forward much needed work, looking at how we can support our community through welfare and community teams, and support local business to stimulate our economy,” said Mayor Jenny Shattock. “This plan enables Council to be responsive in order to support our community as required during the coming times.”
ENDS. Words: 466