Council sets rates raise target

Waipā District Council has agreed to a 1.8 per cent average annual rates increase over the next 10 years, starting with 4.1 per cent in 2021-2022.

A draft 2021-2031 Long Term Plan and consultation document was approved at Tuesday’s Strategic Planning and Policy Committee Meeting to kick off formal community consultation.

Council approved a proposal to a 10-year budget of $2 billion to run the district, which includes capital and operating costs.

Just under half of the overall budget – $900 million will be funded by rates with the remainder will largely come from fees and charges, subsidies and contributions from developers which will help pay for growth.

More than $126.8 million will be spent on growth projects (such as water infrastructure and roads) to accommodate new people moving into Waipā.

By 2027/2028 Waipā’s average debt will peak at $304 million, which is well within Council’s debt limit of total borrowings being no more than 250 per cent of total revenue.

Last year Council asked residents about their aspirations, priorities and needs for Waipā, while also interviewing local business people and organisations to find out their current and future goals for the district and how they fit with community wellbeing.

That feedback shaped the draft Long Term Plan and the projects, services, activities and programmes proposed for the next 10 years.

Some of which is creating a recreational cycling route between Te Awamutu and Pirongia, via Lake Ngāroto and also developing an urban mobility network around Te Awamutu and Cambridge to better connect places like schools, shops and places of work for cyclists, pedestrians and scooter users.

Consultation will run fromMarch 26 to April 27.

Meetings, events and other activities will take place across the district over this time to encourage as many residents as possible to have their say.

The final 2021-2031 Long Term Plan will go to Council for approval
on 29 June 2021.

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