13 March 2011
A strong focus on affordability and sustainability will see Waipa District Council release a draft 10-Year Plan that proposes around $40 million less debt than what was projected in its previous long term plan.
It has also removed $4 million from its annual operating budget.
The draft 10 Year Plan 2012-22 was approved by the council’s Strategic Planning and Policy Committee today and will be available for community review and feedback from Tuesday, March 20.
It includes a proposed rates increase after growth of 4.9 percent for the 2012/13 year, although this will reduce to around 4.4 percent if the council confirms a proposed change to charging for metered water supplies.
It signals an average increase of 4 percent each year over the 10 years, and includes a number of key projects aimed at maintaining or enhancing levels of service.
Debt currently sits at $31 million. It is expected to peak at $65 million, compared to a projected $89.9 million in the 2015/16 year of the 2009-19 plan. It will then drop back to $48.5 million in 2021/22 as loans are repaid.
Mayor Alan Livingston said the current 2009-19 10-Year Plan had been developed at a time when growth was very strong and the council’s activities programmes, and projects were aligned with supporting an economically buoyant and growing district.
In response to the global financial crisis the council had undertaken a review of the plan to provide a sustainable platform for the 10 Year Plan 2012-22.
The draft 10-Year Plan 2012-22 plan is supported by a financial strategy which includes limits on borrowing, rates increases and the amount of rates collected.
Most of the projects presented in the draft plan were required to maintain infrastructural assets and levels of service, ensure community safety and wellbeing, support future planning and meet the council’s statutory responsibilities.
Key projects include:
Upgrading water supplies
Upgrading the Cambridge Wastewater Treatment Plant,
Building a new library and providing starter funding for a new museum in Te Awamutu
Water conservation measures including the Introduction of water meters, and
Reviewing the council’s role in waste management.
Key community projects such as the Cambridge Pool redevelopment and the Te Awamutu museum will be dependent on external funds being raised.
Mr Livingston said many worthwhile projects that were consistent with the council’s vision had been considered, however funding constraints and economic challenges meant that they had been scaled back, deferred or had not been included at all.
“Affordability and sustainability must underpin our planning and decision making for the present and the future. Finding the right balance is what we will be seeking community feedback on,” he said.
The full draft 10 Year Plan 2012-22 and summary document will be available from the council offices from next Tuesday. A copy of the summary will be included in next week’s Cambridge Edition and Te Awamutu Courier.
People will have until 5pm on April 20 to have their say.
For further information contact
Senior Communications Advisor
Ph: 07 872 0062 or 027 532 1760