City’s pro­posed rates rise de­bated

The Tribune (NZ) - - BACKYARD BANTER - JA­NINE RANKIN

Palmer­ston North ratepay­ers could face a 3.1 per cent to­tal rates rise in 2016-17 based on the first draft of the an­nual bud­get.

The draft con­sul­ta­tion book­let, Are we on track? and sup­port­ing doc­u­ments were re­viewed by the City Coun­cil’s com­mit­tee of coun­cil meet­ing on Mon­day.

At this stage the pro­posed rates in­crease is lower than the 4.5 per cent fore­cast in the 10 year plan, and lower than this year’s 3.9 per cent in­crease.

It says the rates for most prop­er­ties would in­crease by less than 3.1 per cent, be­cause the city has been grow­ing so there are more prop­er­ties to share the to­tal cost.

The im­pact of the com­ing year’s pro­posed in­crease on a home on a sec­tion with the av­er­age land value of $147,000 has been es­ti­mated at $60, tak­ing the bill to to $2442 for the year.

The pro­posed con­sul­ta­tion doc­u­ment out­lines ten ma­jor projects for the com­ing year.

They in­clude the Li­brary of the Fu­ture up­grade, build­ing the Cen­tral En­ergy Trust Wild­base Re­cov­ery Cen­tre in the Vic­to­ria Es­planade, lay­ing a third hockey turf at Massey Univer­sity, and build­ing the He Ara Ko­tahi cy­cle and pedes­trian bridge across the Manawatu River.

It also pro­poses a num­ber of sav­ings, such as clos­ing the Bun­nythorpe Trans­fer Sta­tion, re­mov­ing the op­tion to pay coun­cil bills at the Ash­hurst Four Square store, and re­mov­ing pro­vi­sion for a Bike Manawatu off-road cy­cling track.

Some projects are pro­posed to be de­layed, such as the Rail­way Rd to Bun­nythorpe cy­cle and pedes­trian path­way, and pro­vi­sion of a nat­u­ral burial ceme­tery.

The plan in­di­cates debt by the end of June, 2018, will have climbed to $127m. That is $24m less than the 10 year plan an­tic­i­pated, and falls within the coun­cil’s pru­den­tial bor­row­ing lim­its.

But what could be the ele­phant in the cor­ner is the start on in­ves­ti­ga­tions into what the city should do with its waste­water.

There is $620,000 in the com­ing year’s draft bud­get to start work that will look at op­tions - from bet­ter treat­ment and con­tin­u­ing dis­charge to the Manawatu River, mov­ing to land-based dis­posal, or some com­bi­na­tion of the two.

The for­ward bud­get as­sumes the up­grades could cost be­tween $35m and $140m.

Once the draft plan has been fi­nalised by the full coun­cil, com­mu­nity meet­ings have been sched­uled from March 29 to April 8, with hear­ings on May 3-5.

MUR­RAY WIL­SON/FAIR­FAX NZ

De­vel­op­ment of Wild­base Re­cov­ery aviaries at Vic­to­ria Es­planade will be a ma­jor fea­ture of the Palmer­ston North City Coun­cil’s spend­ing this year.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.