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Draft Annual Plan 2014–15 is adopted

Draft Annual Plan 2014–15 is adopted

Environment Southland adopted their Draft Annual Plan and budget for 2014–15 at an extraordinary meeting today.

Chairman Ali Timms said the Annual Plan strongly aligns the programmes and strategic priorities set in the Long-term Plan. “Water quality is our top priority. It’s a rural and an urban issue, everyone needs to be part of the solution,” she said.

Council will continue to work in partnership with the community, landowners, industry and others. “We are proactively working with farmers and the farming industries on improving water quality, but we are also working with other councils, urban residents, businesses, manufacturers and industrial sites to ensure that they are doing what they can to improve water quality,” Ms Timms said.

This Draft Annual Plan and budget, following a thorough review, is forecasting costs for the 2014/15 financial year to be $28.164million. This is $105,000 less than the Long-term Plan forecast for the 2014/15 year. However, comparing this with the current annual plan (2013/14), it is an increase of $159,000 (0.56%).

The Long-term Plan forecasts that the rates income portion would be $15.049million in the 2014/15 year but using prior years’ surpluses and reserves mean that the rates proposed in this draft Plan are $13.696million. While this is a decrease in what was planned, it is an increase of $832,234 on the current 2013/14 year, and overall increase of 6.47%. We have illustrated how this will affect rates in the sample property information contained in the Funding Impact Statement section of this draft Plan. In those illustrations, urban properties have increases of between $4 and $13 per annum, and rural properties have increases ranging from $60 to $125 per annum (depending on their valuations).

The Coastguard Bluff has requested a contribution of $100,000 towards the purchase of a replacement rescue vessel. No provision has been made in the budget for this and submissions on the issue are invited.

The Draft Annual Plan and budget for 2014–15 will be released for public consultation on 30 March 2013. Public submissions on the Plan will close on 2 May 2014 and will be heard on 28 and/or 29 May 2014.

ENDS

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