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Council hits the road for feedback on plans

Release date:

Monday 17 March 2014

Council hits the road for feedback on plans

Mayor Meng Foon starts his series of 30 meetings around the district this week talking to residents about what Gisborne District Council is planning over the next 12 months, what it will cost and who will pay.

“It is a really good time for people to find out what they get for their rates and to let me know what they think,” says Mayor Foon.

Over the next four weeks the Mayor will be holding 20 public meetings in Gisborne and in all the townships around the district. He will also be speaking at the meetings of a number of organisations and attending events in Elgin and in Kaiti Mall. The first meeting is tomorrow night (Tuesday 18 March) at the HB Williams Memorial Library at 5.30pm. “I encourage people to pop in after work to find out how our big projects are progressing and what’s coming up next.”

Council has approved its 2014/15 Draft Annual Plan for consultation. A summary of the plan will be in all residents’ letterboxes this week. The full plan and a submission form are on Council’s website along with a rates look-up tool. People can go to the tool, enter their address and see what rates they are paying this year and what rates we are proposing on their property for next year.”

The good news is for nearly half the properties in the district, they will be paying less rates,” says Mayor Foon.

“Council is working hard on keeping rates affordable while doing all the things we need to do. This is year three of our Ten Year Plan. Council predicted we would need to collect 5.4% more in rates to get all the work done we have planned. Savings have been made and we are proposing a rate increase of only 1.9%; that’s $3m we are not going to collect from ratepayers. On top of the savings made last year, that’s $4.3m not collected from the community in rates.”

“We are not proposing to reduce services and we are committed to improving and maintaining our key infrastructure. This includes our sewer system. We are trying to upgrade it as fast as possible to avoid discharging diluted wastewater into city rivers during heavy rain.”

Actual changes for individual ratepayers will vary depending on where they live, the value of their property and the services provided in different areas.

“At each Community Update meeting I will be presenting information specific to that area. Whangara and Tolaga Bay are the first township meetings and will be held on Friday 21 March. I will show what rates you could expect to pay on a low, medium and high value property. I will also focus on issues relevant to each township. It should be a big year for Tolaga as the main street gets an upgrade.”

Copies of the full 2014/15 Annual Plan are available at the HB Williams Memorial Library or Customer Services in Fitzherbert Street and Te Puia Springs.

Submissions close at 4pm on Thursday 17 April 2014. Submissions can be made by attending a Community Update meeting, completing the submission form in the back of the brochure that is being delivered to all households this week or online on Council’s website www.gdc/govt.nz. Alternatively call Customer Service on 0800 653 800 and they will complete a submission for you.

Ends

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