Rates set for 5.2pc in­crease

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

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.

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