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Waipa Limits Rates Rise In Spite Of Major Cost Increases

1 July 2011



Waipa Limits Rates Rise In Spite Of Major Cost Increases

Waipa District Council has confirmed a 4.97 per cent rate increase for 2011-2012 - slightly less than the amount proposed in the draft annual plan that went out for public consultation.

This is in spite of facing major increases in insurance and fuel costs since the draft plan was prepared and making more money available for community groups. Existing levels of service are being maintained and several community initiatives are being advanced.

Mayor Alan Livingston congratulated management and staff for keeping the rate rise within the parameters of the draft annual plan.

Most of the increase (3.8%) is made up of fixed costs such as depreciation, ACC and Kiwisaver levies, so only 1.17% of the rise is due to discretionary costs, keeping the rise within the level of annual inflation.

Council received nearly 1500 submissions covering nearly 2000 matters with the vast majority (1167) in favour of the proposed National Cycling Centre at Cambridge.

As a result Council has agreed in principle to a $1 million grant for the project subject to any funding from the Waikato Regional Council being levied on all WRC ratepayers and that existing Waipa ratepayers are not liable for the net costs of borrowing to service the grant.

However, Council noted that it is unlikely the grant would have to be paid in the current rating year.

In adopting the plan, Council has made provision for a four-fold increase in its annual insurance premiums, having to find an additional $207,000 as insurers seek to recover their costs associated with the Canterbury earthquakes and other disasters worldwide.

It noted that an additional $332,000 was needed to cover increased fuel costs.

Council has increased its grant to the Te Awamutu Citizens Advice Bureau by $2000 and made a $5000 grant to the Cambridge Safer Community Trust. A further $25,000 was allocated for Town Concept Plans and $50,000 for the Te Awamutu Playground.

Savings were made by deferring $1.1 million in capital project spending $544,400 in operating costs until next year. A further $1.05 million was cut from the budget by removal of the Factory Road wastewater project, which is no longer required.

The total rates required for 2011-2012 is $39.8 million (excluding GST).


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