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Council adopts LTP, sets lower rate rise for 2012

June 27th, 2012
[from TDC press release]

The Tasman District Council today adopted its Long Term Plan (LTP) with a general rate increase for the 2012-2013 year set at 3.63 percent.

When the draft was released for consultation earlier in the year it proposed a general rate increase of 4.75% for the next year. After considering over 900 submissions and a great deal of work by Councillors, submitters and staff, the priorities were identified and the budgets were aligned and reshaped.

The overall rates change will vary from location to location depending on the range of targeted rates that each property receives and the effects of recent property revaluations.

Mayor Richard Kempthorne said the overall priorities of the final Long Term Plan were (a) delivery of key services to residents, businesses and visitors and maintain core infrastructure assets at an affordable cost; (b) investment in new assets to meet the needs of our growing and changing communities; and (c) to meet legislative obligations.

Council points to external impacts on Council costs, such as the costs of the Emissions Trading Scheme as they affect on waste management, and the Government having not increased its contribution in line with inflation for transport costs, including road maintenance. Without this inflation adjustment, Council has been forced to reduce some transport services.

Debt management was a recurring theme from submitters and was never far from Council deliberations. As the District grows there is a need for sound management of debt. The final Plan has a slightly lower projected debt level of $310.8 million by 2021/2022, compared to $317 million proposed in the draft Plan. Council said it will continue to review major capital expenditure and aim to reduce long term debt levels.

Council is also looking for opportunities to work closely with Nelson City and Marlborough District and other South Island Councils to deliver services more efficiently and effectively.

A number of projects planned in future years will be reviewed with an undertaking to further refine the funding models and costs, such as the Lee Valley dam.

Although the largest proportion of expenditure is for core infrastructure, there are a number of community projects also planned for the next 10 years, including the upgrade of the Motueka Library.

"While I am confident we have achieved a balance of need and cost, we will continuously monitor the impact and efficacy of these decisions and if necessary review them as part of future Annual Plan processes," Mayor Kempthorne said.


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