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2019/20 Annual Plan

The Annual Plan for the 2019/20 year was adopted during the June council meeting yesterday.

The plan for the coming year remains substantially the same and in line with the 2018/28 Long Term Plan, with a few variations prioritising projects and services.

We have committed to our previously agreed 6% increase to the general rate for 2019/20, and still plan to have a debt balance of $39 million by the end of the 2019/20 year. This has been a deliberate strategy to manage affordability and debt while continuing to deliver critical services. This includes several major projects that we have been planning for years (for example, meeting NZ drinking water standards and earthquake strengthening our public buildings).

The main variations to our long term plan for 2019/20 include:
• We have brought forward some of our large sewer and water projects to do in 2019/20, instead of in later years. Some of these projects are to increase the capacity of our supplies, to enable more properties to connect to water and sewer and to improve the delivery of these.
• We had predicted our earthquake debt to be higher than what we now expect by the end of the 2019/20 year. Instead of reaching $2.9 million, we are now planning for a lesser debt of $2.5 million. We have almost finalised our insurance claims – a process which has been enormously complex as the full extent of the damage incurred in the November 2016 earthquake has been difficult to establish.
• We have made the difficult decision to increase our district wide rate for waste and recycling collection by $10 per annum per property (for those on the collection route) and to increase the cost of rubbish bags to $3.00 (from $2.60 each). This cost of delivering this service is not being adequately funded through our current rates and rubbish bag prices, hence an increase being necessary. Recycling bags will remain at the same price.
Chief Executive Officer Hamish Dobbie said this Annual Plan “continues to deliver on our long term focus of affordable, fit for purpose services for our district, within a prudent fiscal envelope”. “The majority of our earthquake repair work has been completed and the next year will see us focussing on priority projects and service maintenance” he said.

The 2019/20 year will concentrate on delivering the maintenance and capital works programme. This includes water upgrades, storm water improvements, reserve development, playground improvements, ongoing earthquake strengthening and repairs to damaged infrastructure throughout the district, plus the upgrade of the Amberley swimming pool.

We would like to say thank you to all those who got involved with our consultation on the Annual Plan. This includes those at our quiz nights, drop in sessions, catch ups and anyone that took the time to approach us elsewhere.

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