LTP, rates signed off

Kapi-Mana News - - NEWS - By KRIS DANDO

Porirua peo­ple face an av­er­age rates rise of 3.4 per cent in the com­ing year, af­ter Porirua City Coun­cil signed off its 10-year plan last week.

In the draft Long Term Plan it was pro­posed to in­crease rates by 3.2 per cent but a num­ber of changes to the bud­get has led to the slight in­crease. Re­tain­ing lit­ter bins around the city, more fund­ing for surf life­sav­ing, stormwa­ter up­grades and re­in­stat­ing an an­nual res­i­dents’ sur­vey are among in­clu­sions.

An ex­tra $154,000 for a walk­way/cy­cle­way from Wi­neera Dr to Onepoto, to be built in 2015/16, was a late addition. It had been in the 2009-19 plan but was to be set aside due to bud­get con­straints.

Sup­port in prin­ci­ple for the pro­posed writ­ers’ walk along the water­front and a re­de­vel­op­ment of Aotea Col­lege’s au­di­to­rium were also noted, along with the de­ci­sion to de­cline col­lect­ing a levy from ratepay­ers for the re­gional ameni­ties fund.

Coun­cil man­ager of cor­po­rate ser­vices Euan Dempsey said the fi­nal draft of the long-term plan had been given ‘‘a clean bill of health’’ by in­de­pen­dent au­di­tors.

‘‘There are no is­sues I need to re­port to you [coun­cil­lors]. We have demon­strated clearly that over the last three years we have met the au­di­tors’ test of pru­dence.’’

Deputy mayor Liz Kelly, sit­ting in for the ab­sent mayor Nick Leggett, who has been on leave in Scot­land, said it had been a tough road for coun­cil of­fi­cers to pre­pare a long-term plan in this eco­nomic cli­mate.

The ‘‘ to- ing and fro- ing’’ in re­cent weeks, re­flect­ing the wants and wishes of coun­cil­lors and pub­lic sub­mit­ters, had meant a tricky bal­anc­ing act.

Par­al­lel con­sul­ta­tion on fees and charges, the Porirua Trans­porta­tion Strat­egy, and e-vot­ing for lo­cal body elec­tions were also fi­nalised.

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