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5.7 Per Cent Rates Increase

5.7 Per Cent Rates Increase

NEWS RELEASE from Hutt City Council

21 June 2002

5.7 PER CENT RATES INCREASE

Hutt City Council agreed to increased expenditure requiring a 5.7 per cent average rates increase, which will add $68.40 a year, or $1.30 per week, to the average rates bill of $1200, said Mayor Terris.

The increase is made up of: 1.5 per cent to pay for the new Seaview Wastewater Plant, 2.0 per cent for inflation, 1 per cent for increased insurance costs, 1 per cent for economic development and 0.4 per cent for additional items.

"This Annual Plan is about delivering on a vision for Hutt City as a great place to live, work and play," said Mayor Terris.

"For the last few years Council has had to concentrate on reducing debt and delivering efficient services. While we have been very successful at that, the effect has been that some of our assets have become rather tired."

"Hutt City Council's record at holding rates is second to none in NZ - for the last four years Hutt City Council has succeeded in absorbing inflation while maintaining or exceeding current levels of service."

"Putting up rates is always a difficult decision and we are very mindful of the impact for those on fixed incomes, but Council's hand has been forced by a number of factors, including a 1.5 per cent increase to pay for the new wastewater plant, having to make an adjustment for inflation after three years of zero rates increases and being hit with a massive hike in insurance premiums."

"For the first time we have set out our spending plans for the next three years. We have agreed to limit future rates increases to 3.5 per cent next year and 1.5 per cent in 2004/05."

A significant proportion of the rates increases signalled in the next two years was planned and will be needed to pay for the Seaview wastewater plant.


Key projects to receive funding include:
Central Library Upgrade (over next two years) $2,077,300
Hutt Park Redevelopment (over next two years) $1,900,000
Dowse Upgrade $1,000,000
Economic Development Strategy $580,000 p.a.
(includes retail strategy, case management model,
economic development research, business communications,
economic impact framework and model, Hutt City signage planning,
retail and entertainment guides seed funding,
Visitor Information Centre website development,
Stage 2 Dowse feasibility study, Broadband aggregation,
Tourism Strategy and Development Strategy Wainuiomata)
Petone Foreshore Upgrade $500,000
Walter Nash Stadium $350,000
Jackson Street Development $300,000
Substandard Roads, Poto Rd, Normandale $300,000 (to start in the 2003/04
financial year) East-West Connector Feasibility Study (over next 2
years) $170,000 Extra residential road lighting $150,000 Queen Street,
Wainuiomata Improvements $150,000 Safer City Environmental
Improvements $50,000 Library/Petone Settlers Feasibility Study $40,000


"There will be those who will say we have not done enough to keep rates down. However, I think we have struck a good balance between the need to maintain financial discipline and investing in the social and economic development of Hutt City,"


ENDS

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