Publication:

Bush Telegraph - 2021-05-03

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Te¯na¯ koutou katoa Greetings to you all

FOCUS ON FARMING

Ngā mihi nui, Mayor Tracey Collis

We are continuing our Long Term Plan consultation and mock rate invoices have been sent to residents showing the proposed increases. One of our debate items is debt repayment. Council debt has increased as we have upgraded infrastructure across the district, particularly in our water infrastructure. We will continue to have funding pressures ahead replacing aged infrastructure, compliance costs and the cost of extreme weather events, which continue to impact our roading network. Tararua is now experiencing unprecedented growth and we are likely to experience significant costs associated with this and will need to review how we manage our debt. We think it is wise to budget to reduce our debt, reducing risk to council and leaving enough for unforeseen events, or a change in the interest rate environment. We are consulting on three options, 1 per cent, 2 per cent or 3 per cent of total rates in debt repayment each year. Our preferred option is 2 per cent which we feel balances both repayment and affordability. The rates impact is per $100,000 land value and averages $12.10 per property in Year One, $24.20 in Year Two and $36.29 in Year Three. Now is the time and its important, to have your say on what we have proposed before May 12. They say good things take time and Council now has consent to build six new pensioner flats in Swinburn Street, Dannevirke. Further flats are planned for Pahiatua in Year 5 of the Long Term Plan. Pensioner housing is a selffunding activity with no impact on rates. There are currently 67 one-bedroom units and 12 two-bedroom units. The units are located in Dannevirke (49), Eketāhuna (3), Pahiatua (15) and Woodville (12). Council manages these units to be self-funding and there is no rates funding required. Council is currently working on a housing strategy and you will hear more about this soon.

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