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Council agrees 2019/20 Budget

Timaru District Councillors have today voted to accept a rates resolution lower than that forecast in the Long Term Plan.

The 4.7% increase in total rates revenue was contained in the Annual Plan and Budget for the 2019/20 year, which was agreed at the council meeting in Timaru today. The exact rise people will see on their rates bills is dependent on the services they receive.

It is less than the 7.3% increase proposed in the 2018-28 Long Term Plan for the 2019/20 year.

Bede Carran, Timaru District Council Chief Executive said that a renewed focus on robust project delivery and efficiency savings ensured that despite the addition of additional items such as the Temuka Pool Upgrade, rates increases were kept to a minimum.

“The council is charged with providing many of the services you use every day, from turning on the tap to driving to work or going to the park or library, all of which is provided for an average of $43 a week for an average Timaru residential property.

“In developing the budget for next year staff were all asked to look at where they could make efficiency savings while ensuring that levels of service remained at our high level.

“While we’re aiming to keep rates as affordable as we can, it’s important that we ensure we meet the costs of not only providing and maintaining infrastructure and facilities, but also that we continue to invest in ensuring we can support the community and businesses to grow and thrive.”

Timaru Mayor, Damon Odey, thanked staff for the work involved in production of the plan and budget.

“The annual plan gives people the opportunity to see the massive range of activities that the council undertakes to ensure Timaru is a great place to live, work and play.

“Within this budget there are some major safety initiatives such as the upgrade of the Tiplady junction with the assistance of the NZTA and the start of the upgrade to the Pareora Pipeline, securing the long term sustainability of Timaru’s water supply.

“I’ve also appreciated both the work to clarify the budgeting in line with best practice as well as efficiency savings across the whole council.

“All this behind the scenes work may not be as obvious to ratepayers as our frontline services, but they play a key part in ensuring that we are a transparent and fiscally responsible organisation.”

The relative split of expenditure amongst council services remains similar to previous years, with nearly 70% of expenditure split across roading and pavements, water supply, sewerage and waste minimisation.

For more information about council services and where your rates go, visit www.timaru.govt.nz

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