Projected rates rise below local government rate of inflation

The Hurunui District Council’s projecting a rates rise for 2011 of less than the rate of local government inflation.

A significant amount of work has already been undertaken by the Council preparing its 2011/2012 draft budget.

After a number of revisions and cost cutting decisions, the proposed works and spending suggest a total rates increase in the order of just over three percent (3.04%). Currently local government inflation rate (council related expenditure) is around 3.6%. (BERL)

An increase of around three percent would be more than a percentage point lower than the previous year’s increase, and of what was originally projected in the council’s Long Term Plan.

Chief Executive, Andrew Dalziel, says the focus of the new Council in preparing the 2011/12 budget has been on core infrastructural services and affordability – especially during a period of tough economic reality.

“We appreciate people are struggling to get on top of things because of the recession.

“We don’t want to add to that burden, and are doing our best to be as fiscally prudent as we can, while still maintaining our roads, water, and drainage, waste and service delivery – the key areas our residents and ratepayers are telling us are their top priorities for rates spending.”

He says council officers have gone through the initial draft budgets with a fine tooth comb to identify potential savings.

“It has not been easy, given we are also suffering from reduced council income due to the impact of the recession with a drop in resource management and building consent applications.”

As much as possible, however, he says the Council intends to retain the proposed big items of work and projects planned for 2011/12 within the revised budget, which will also includes a number of additions from the Long Term Plan, including:

• new software for the library

• an increased amount of road sealing

• increased spending to improve drainage from roads

• provisional funding for strategies to manage the Waipara River

Council will adopt its draft Annual Plan for 2011/12 at its 24 February 2011 meeting – which will be open for public consultation from mid March to mid April 2011.

For further information contact:

Andrew Dalziel

Chief Executive Officer

Hurunui District Council

03 314 0011