Hurunui District Council adopts Long Term Plan and strikes 2012-13 rates

Hurunui District Council adopted the Long Term Plan for 2012-22 and resolved to set the rates for the forthcoming year at its meeting on Thursday June 28, with some minor amendments.

The Council focused on its four principles during deliberations:

• core services

• financial responsibility and affordability

• continuous improvement in service to everyone in the district

• facilitating appropriate growth in the district

This focus is reflected in the rating decisions for 2012/13 and proposed expenditure over the life of the 10 year Long Term Plan (LTP). General rates in 2012/13 will reduce to 5.83% (down from 6.94% as in the draft plan). The downside will be the flow on effect to the 2013/2014 and 2014/2015 years’ rates which will increase to 5.71% in 2013/2014 and 5.37% in the 2014/2015 year.

At the eleventh hour of the LTP process, NZTA provided Council with the indicative level of costs that it intends to provide funding towards for the 2012-2015 year. The indicative costs are more than $1.5 million lower than the Council had allowed for in the Draft Long Term Plan. The effect of correcting this is that the roading budget would be reduced by $297,967, which is the amount of match-funding by NZTA. The Council agreed to hold the same budgeted amount in year one of the plan as a reserve fund for unsubsidised roading projects, with applications to be made to the fund on a business case basis.

The Council also approved its fees and charges for the upcoming financial year at the 28 June meeting. These were consulted on during the LTP process and take effect on 1 July.