Rates go up for Porirua
Porirua City Council unanimously passed its Annual Plan for 2016/17 last week, setting a rate increase of 3.3 per cent.
The increase is down from the 5.03 per cent rise proposed in the draft annual plan and mayor Nick Leggett said council had worked hard to reduce it.
‘‘No one wants their rates to go up, but we also have to retain vital and valued city services.
‘‘Having fresh water, safe roads, reliable waste management and covering risks around flooding are the bread and butter of local government.’’
The council had listened to residents and kept services, such as the life guards at Titahi Bay Beach, that had been marked for removal, he said.
Included in the decisions made to reduce costs were discontinuing the inorganic waste collection, closing the Porirua main library and Cannons Creek Pool on public holidays, and reducing the spend on gardens and landscaped areas.
The Annual Plan also includes a decision to contribute $200,000 towards the salaries of staff at or around the minimum wage in response to submissions made by the Living Wage Movement.
Chief executive Wendy Walker said the council had a busy year ahead with the construction of Transmission Gully.
‘‘Although that is a government project, we are funding close to $4 million for local link roads to provide better access for residents and businesses.’’
The council would be progressing with the wet play area and sound stage at Aotea Lagoon, a diving platform at Paremata and the Porirua Outdoor Recreation Park development in the hills above Porirua and Tawa.