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Hutt City rates kept low, recycling saved

18/06/2008

Hutt City rates kept low, recycling saved

Hutt City has set an average rate increase of just 2.6% for 2008/09, following finalisation of the Annual Plan last night.

“This is great news for ratepayers and the city,” says Mayor David Ogden. The figure assumes growth in the rating base of 1%.

“Keeping rates under control and well within inflation, despite difficult economic conditions, is a real achievement.”

The Council also decided to continue with its kerbside recycling collection, following strong feedback from residents. The cost of the service will be fully funded by a user charge, in the form of a targeted rate of $36 per household or 69 cents a week. It is in addition to the average rates rise.

Mayor Ogden said he was pleased the Council had been able to keep a lid on the overall increase, despite significant cost pressures on Council operations.

“We are conscious of not significantly adding to the financial burden felt by many households currently struggling to cope with rising living costs.

“It’s a great result to have the lowest rate rises of any city council over the last four years.”

Other features of the 2008-2009 Annual Plan:

-Debts levels are forecast to be $18M by 2015 – considerably better than Council’s $30M target

-$360M to be invested on capital projects, including roads, water, waste and flood protection over the next 10 years

-$1.25M for upgrading Korohiwa bus barns and landscaping

-$350,000 for Community Digital Access programme for libraries

-$350,000 for upgrading the Hutt Recreation Ground’s playing surface in 2009/10 that will meet the standard for a Rugby World Cup training venue

-Additional funding of $100,000 per year for cycle ways

-New Green initiatives: $10,000 for energy audit of Council facilities; $50,000 to subsidise insulation of pre-1978 housing; and removing consent fees for installing solar hot water heating

-$150,000 per year for heritage incentives and $80,000 in 2008/09 to complete heritage inventory

-$50,000 to plant trees for urban greening

-Funding support for the Hutt Public Art Trust of $50,000

-$10,000 to fund Men’s Shed initiative

-$294,000 for Wingate Development brought forward from 2010/11 to 2009/10

-Provision for strengthening the Administrative Building increased by $5M to $20M

-$20,000 to fund Community Hub for social services

-$30,000 for Taita Playground, $75,000 for Whiourau Reserve improvements in 2009/10 and $32,000 for Maungaraki Greenspace

-$60,000 to support Jackson Street Programme

-$180,000 for Market Grove Car Park Access

-Lower Hutt Cadet Forces receive $30,000, Petone Citizens Advice Bureau $5,000 and Te Taurahere o Te Awakairangi $10,000.

ENDS

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