Waikato District Council today formally adopted its 2015 – 2025 Long Term Plan (LTP). With a strong focus on managing growth and future assets and a minimal general rate increase, a good outcome is expected in the long-term for local communities.
The LTP, which sets out what the Council hopes to achieve for the Waikato district over the next ten years, outlines key projects and includes a 2.9% per cent general rate increase for the 2015 – 2016 financial year. Increases of 1 % and 3% are expected over the next ten years.
Consistent with the Financial Strategy adopted as part of the 2012 LTP, some ratepayers will still receive significant targeted rate increases as Council continues to make reticulated water and wastewater services financially sustainable.
Waikato District Mayor, Allan Sanson, said the Council had agreed on a robust plan which met the needs of the community.
“A big challenge for us is finding the balance between focusing on delivering core services to the community and being aware of ageing infrastructure, an increasing population, a demand for new developments and paying for growth,” he said.
Mayor Sanson said he was pleased with the consultation process and feedback from the community about the Plan, with some 865 submissions received.
“This year we again held hearings in three locations – Tuakau, Raglan and Ngaruawahia, making it easier for people to discuss their submissions with Council.
“We received 865 submissions and heard 70 of them in person. Councillors and staff talked with our communities about the proposed plan at a range of events around the district during the four week consultation period including market days, poukai and community events, as well as the usual arranged meetings.
“We would like to thank everyone for their input, especially those who shared their views in person,” he said.
Key outcomes from the six principle areas of consultation:
- Extending library hours, making resources and some Council services available to more people at different times
- Moving to a consistent and district wide targeted rate for the ‘three waters’ – wastewater, water supply and stormwater - over three years
- A planned assessment of the condition of our most critical water and wastewater infrastructure assets across the district
- A ten year programme to improve small sections of unsealed roads where safety and vehicle traction is an issue
- Supporting our district wide zero waste and waste minimisation targets through a user pays approach with households who have a waste collection service
- Gradually increasing maintenance of our parks and reserves to a higher level over the next two years.
Funds were also approved for grants and donations to be made either one-off or over the ten year period to the following organisations:
- Waikato Biodiversity Forum
- Bush Tramway Club
- Tamahere Reserve (Tamahere-Mangaone Restoration Trust)
- Huntly Volunteer Fire Brigade
- Franklin Tourism Group
- Te Whakaruruhau Incorporated
- Onewhero Old School Building
- North Waikato Transport Trust
- Para Kore
- Waikato District Lakes and Freshwater Wetlands.
The Council’s ten-year Plan will be available from mid-July in all Council offices and libraries and online.
For more information please contact:
Senior Communications Advisor
Waikato District Council
07 824 8633 Extn: 5900
027 551 1601