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Annual plan adopted

MEDIA RELEASE

Annual plan adopted

For immediate release: Friday 20 June 2008

A $50,000 increase in money available to volunteers for environmental projects was among the proposals approved by Environment Bay of Plenty councillors yesterday as part of their adoption of the Annual Plan.

The regional council proposes to maintain its rate increase which means a rise of around $4.18 to $11.44 per household per year.

Key proposals include:

* Reduction in targeted rates for Rotorua residents for buses from $42.33 to $29.55 per household per year;

* Provision of a $50,000 grant for the Opotiki Harbour Development Project; and

* Provision of $50,000 extra for the Environmental Enhancement Fund bringing it to $500,000.

Chairman John Cronin said the plan was largely business as normal with few major changes.

"There were increases in expenditure in some areas and savings in others. We know this is tough time financially for residents across the region with food, fuel and energy costs rising and we have worked hard to keep the rates increase to a reasonable level," said Mr Cronin.

Significant savings were made when renegotiating the contract to run the Rotorua bus service and this has led to a reduction in the targeted rate for Rotorua residents. This will not lead to a reduction in the frequency of services.

Mr Cronin thanked residents and organisations for making constructive submissions to the plan and said that many of the suggestions had led to changes in the final Annual Plan.

"We will be writing to all those people who took the time and effort to make submissions to our annual plan. The letters will explain council's decisions on the points made in their submissions. We hope to have these out next week," said Mr Cronin. Council adopted the annual plan 2008/2009 at the council meeting on Thursday 19 June. The Draft Annual Plan 2008/09 is based on year three of the Ten Year Plan 2006-16. The Regional Council also sought views on the Draft Section 36 Resource Management Act Charges Policy For 2008/2009 and Draft Bay of Plenty Regional Council Floodway and Drainage Bylaw 2008. All the documents will be available to read at Environment Bay of Plenty's offices in Whakatane, Rotorua and Mount Maunganui and on the website www.envbop.govt.nz from July.

ENDS

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