Submissions open on future of district

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Waikato district ratepayers and residents can make their voice heard from today, with the opening of consultation for Year Two of the Long Term Plan – the draft Annual Plan 2013-14.

Mayor Allan Sanson says the draft plan does contain some changes from the second year of the Long Term Plan but the changes have been brought about by events throughout the year.

A public meeting is being held in the Tamahere Community Centre on Monday, April 15 from 7pm to allow people to assess the issues, discuss the proposals and prepare their thoughts before making submissions.

“In the Long Term Plan, we set a strategic direction which was guided by firm principles which we have maintained in this plan as well. Our priorities focus on affordability and maintaining what we have, and you will see this reflected in this draft plan,” Sanson said.

“We’re keen to see people read the plan, and make submissions on it. We really want to see Waikato district residents and ratepayers get into the spirit of this consultation, to tell us their views so we can make our decisions based on informed feedback about what matters to them.”

A summary, designed to highlight the core issues within the draft plan, will be distributed throughout the district. The full document is also available at the council office in Ngaruawahia, service centres and libraries. Both the summary and full document are also here on the council’s website.

Consultation closes Monday, May 6. Online submissions can be made. See here for forms and instructions.

Key draft Annual Plan consultation items include:

• Reduction in the proposed general rate increase from 2.37% in the second year of the Long Term Plan, to 1.87% in the draft Annual Plan.
• The council proposes putting more money towards its Disaster Recovery Fund.
• Targeted rate increases are proposed to go up by more than identified in the LTP for some halls, Raglan recycling and district-wide refuse collection.
• A new forestry targeted rate is proposed to help fund the maintenance of rural roads affected by the heavy vehicles servicing the forestry harvest.
• A grant of up to $15,000 is proposed for the Raglan Chamber of Commerce to help fund a Sunday bus service.
• Changes are proposed to grants and donations, with $20,000 proposed to be put aside for possible Annual Plan grants. People will be able to make submissions on the types of grants and donations that should be made and the benefit they provide to the community.
• Some fees and charges are proposed to change.

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