Kapiti Council hails 5% rate riseBy Alan Tristram
The Kapiti Coast Council says its Draft Annual Plan, adopted today, has a ‘lower than projected’ rates rise of nearly five per cent.
It says a programme of ‘consolidation and prudence’ has resulted in a lower than projected rates rise for 2014/15 — 4.95% against 6.8% identified in the Long Term Plan.
Ratepayers can be forgiven for not getting over excited about this, as the movement in the Consumer Price Index for the year ended 31 December 2013 was 1.63%!
The Council says:“This Plan lays out a blueprint for a ‘steady as she goes’ approach that has resulted in reducing the average rates rise.”
“We completed some big projects in the last year, such as the Coastlands Aquatic Centre and the Civic Building refurbishment. Now it’s time to take a breather, slow down and take stock,” says Mayor Ross Church.
At a series of public workshops over the past few weeks Councillors have gone over every aspect of spending from stormwater and wastewater management to libraries, economic development, and social support.
Mayor Church says the result is a Draft Annual Plan that focuses on cutting costs and keeping rates down.
“This Plan lays out a blueprint for a ‘steady as she goes’ approach that has resulted in reducing the average rates rise to 4.95% against 6.8% identified in the Long Term Plan.”
Mayor Church says the savings and lower than projected rates rise is the result of a huge drive by staff to reduce costs.
“A considerable effort has gone into reviewing all expenditure and making some hard decisions,” he says.
“This has resulted in a $3.4 million reduction in capital works and more than $2 million shaved off operational expenditure. We’re also proposing to defer a second hydroslide for the Coastlands Aquatic Centre and delay the refit of the old Raumati pool building.
“We’re also concentrating on debt repayment with a proposal in the Plan to commence additional repayments of $150,000 from 2014/15.”
But the Mayor says just because Council is being financially prudent that doesn’t mean things aren’t happening.
He says: “We are still planning to forge ahead with our plans to deliver a long-term water solution for Kāpiti through the introduction of water meters and developing the Waikanae River Recharge scheme.
“The aging Waikanae Water Treatment Plant is about to undergo a major upgrade, we plan to establish a youth centre in Paraparaumu and planning for new town centres in Waikanae and Paraparaumu is well underway.”
The Draft Annual Plan will now go out for public consultation and submissions from 26 March to 28 April 2014.