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Rodney Adopts 2005/06 Annual Plan

RODNEY DISTRICT COUNCIL
MEDIA RELEASE
28 June 2005

Rodney Adopts 2005/06 Annual Plan


Rodney District Council has adopted its 2005/2006 Annual Plan and with it, a $93.9m capital programme, made up of $67.9m of new capital works, and $26.0m in renewal works.

The average rate impact will be 6.5 per cent, which for an average property takes the average rate to $1,662 (net of GST).

This 6.5 per cent impact is less than that forecast in the 2004-2014 Long Term Council Community Plan. This projected a 3.9 per cent average increase (on top of inflation, which is forecast to be 3 per cent.)

The Mayor John Law said the funds now to be sought from the ratepayer were less than those proposed in the Draft Annual Plan and that fact reflected a determined effort by Councillors.

“This is the result of 95 changes to the capital programme and operational functions set out in the Draft Annual Plan. It’s a demonstration of the effectiveness of the submission process, not to mention Councillors’ determination to tightly manage the growth we’re experiencing. Those 95 changes total some $3m worth of expenditure,” the Mayor said.

Mr Law said operational costs were rising, driven not only by population growth and the associated need for development but also the competition for the scarce resources needed to build infrastructure.

“We’re fortunate that while these operational costs are going up, the number of ratepayers sharing them is increasing. There are 3 per cent more than the previous year. Statistics New Zealand’s intercensal figures for 2004 confirm the phenomenon that is Rodney: the most attractive place to live in the North Island, if not New Zealand.”

“Rodney’s estimated population is 86,610 - up more than 12 per cent on the 2001 census and that growth is reflected in last October’s Quotable Value property value revaluation. There were very significant increases in property values in some parts of the District,” the Mayor said

“These valuations are what used to known as GVs. New Zealand’s councils are obliged by law to use these, ‘current valuations’ as they are now known, as the basis for their rating calculations. While the 2005/2006 is an average 6.5 per cent increase, there will be some ratepayers who experience large percentage increases, and others decreases.”

Mr Law added that the rise in operating costs included depreciation; up $2.9m; net direct operating costs up $2.8m and interest costs up $3.6m

“The interest costs are an indication of the extent of the capital works programme we have underway. The more extensive that is, the larger the financing and the more interest that must be funded,” the Mayor said.

The Council will collect $71.8 million in rates for 2005/2006 and its budget is designed to meet the costs of rapid growth and the provision of community infrastructure and facilities.

Major expenditure by activity is:

- Transportation: $32.7m
- Water Services $24.9m
- Environmental care: $13.1m
- Community Wellbeing: $20.2m

The Mayor said the Council had had to defer some projects to keep costs down but that they were very pleased to report that it was either starting or completing some major facilities for which Rodney’s communities have been waiting years.”

“Despite an extensive capital programme of $93.9m, we will have to raise less loans than was forecast, due to the very successful advocacy by Councillors and officers to access subsidies for major transportation projects. Debt is being held at a prudent $1.00 for every $9.30 of community assets, ” Mr Law said

The Mayor also said that the submission, hearing and deliberation process was as robust as ever, with 707 submissions.

“All submitters were given the chance to be heard and each submission was reviewed and deliberated on,” the Mayor said.

The average rating impact for the Hibiscus Coast rating division is 6.4 per cent, while that of the Rural and Townships division is 6.6 per cent.


ends

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