Carter­ton rates up 40 per cent since 2012

Wairarapa News - - FRONT PAGE - ILLYA MCLEL­LAN

Carter­ton ratepay­ers are in for shock, with the lat­est rates rise for the sparsely pop­u­lated dis­trict al­most 10 per cent.

Dis­trict res­i­dents have seen their rates in­crease by over 40 per cent since 2012, one of the steep­est rises in the coun­try over that pe­riod.

The lat­est 9.4 per cent rise is the sharpest in the past seven years. Carter­ton Dis­trict Coun­cil says it is due to up­grad­ing the dis­trict’s waste­water treat­ment fa­cil­ity and in­fra­struc­ture.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Jane Davis said the coun­cil is loan fund­ing the $4.2 mil­lion needed for the pro­ject next year and the loan re­pay­ment costs are hit­ting next year’s rates, which has led to the large in­crease.

Carter­ton rates in­creased over the past seven years pri­mar­ily be­cause of in­fra­struc­ture re­newals and up­grades but also be­cause of in­creased costs as­so­ci­ated with projects like the Carter­ton Events Cen­tre and other town up­grades.

The most sig­nif­i­cant driv­ers though are the age of the sewer and wa­ter in­fra­struc­ture and the need to up­grade the waste­water treat­ment and dis­posal sys­tem, she said.

‘‘Many as­set re­newals had to be funded from loans in­stead of de­pre­ci­a­tion re­serves be­cause pre­vi­ous coun­cils had not set aside enough cash dur­ing the life of the as­set. This has not been com­mon prac­tice un­til the last twenty years or so.

If as­sets are funded from loans, there will be ad­di­tional costs re­lated to de­pre­ci­a­tion, in­ter­est and loan re­pay­ments, as well as on­go­ing main­te­nance and op­er­a­tional costs.

Carter­ton res­i­dent Ron Shaw of lobby group Wairarapa Voice said it is clear that Wairarapa needs in­fra­struc­ture up­dates as it has been ne­glected over the years, es­pe­cially by cen­tral gov­ern­ment.

Wairarapa Voice heard from the peo­ple of the re­gion that they want coun­cils to im­prove the way they do things, but peo­ple also re­alise that there is work that needs to be done, he said.

‘‘The rea­sons for rates in­creases are known but we do need to hold coun­cils in Wairarapa to ac­count.

To make sure they are do­ing the best pos­si­ble job they can with the money res­i­dents give them.’’

ILLYA MCLEL­LAN/STUFF

Big ticket items like the Carter­ton Events Cen­tre have in­creased the coun­cil run­ning costs.

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