Rates set for 5.2pc increase
Porirua ratepayers face an annual rates rise of 5.2 per cent for 2011-12, with insurance costs rises following the Christchurch earthquake and over $3 million on sewer pipe upgrades.
Porirua City Council’s corporate services general manager Euan Dempsey said the insurance situation – a $270,000 hit to the budget – was one of the factors for rates being set at 0.7 per cent above the rate of inflation.
Original estimates in the draft annual plan had a rates rise of 5.7 per cent, but officers have worked hard on their budgets in the past weeks, he said.
Other additions to the 2011-12 annual plan include $100,000 towards a feasibility study to look at sewage issues in Pauatahanui, $150,000 to help fast-track the City Centre Revitalisation, $62,000 allocated for graffiti reduction and keeping Cannons Creek Library open for an extra two hours on Friday afternoons.
The villages development programme, Bothamley Park restoration, playground maintenance and road safety measures continue to be funded. Mayor Nick Leggett flagged a tough year ahead. ‘‘Next year when we renew our long-term plan [2012-22] we have to confront some cost deferrals. There is pressure to spend money by some parts of our community, while others say no. We are not going to be able to make decisions without hard data and that’s why $100,000 towards a study for reticulation in Pauatahanui is necessary, it gives us the scope for possible options there. We are investing in the health of our residents and in our harbour.’’
Deputy mayor Liz Kelly, however, did not get satisfaction on drainage problems in Takapuwahia. While there are planned stormwater upgrades to be carried out, any further work will have to be part of the long-term plan.
‘‘There has been an issue in Takapuwahia for 50-odd years but somehow it [ solutions] has dropped off the horizon. These residents have been paying rates for a service they are not getting.’’
Ms Kelly was also unhappy to see no mention of a boardwalk alongside Titahi Bay Rd in the annual plan, as flagged in that suburb’s village plan some years ago.
‘‘It’s been taken out altogether, included now is walkway and cycleway promotion for the city [$200,000 allocated for this financial year]. The fact this and the Titahi Bay seawalls are not in there are of real concern our community.’’
Other deferred projects include the performing arts centre – due to ‘‘delays in gaining agreement amongst partners’’, pump station renewal, a new waste water clarifier, construction at the landfill and the Airlie Rd bridge replacement.