WBOP Council‘s draft plan signals rates increase

Western Bay of Plenty Mayor Garry Webber. File photo/SunLive.

The future of the Pukehina Development Rate will be decided through this year’s Annual Plan.

Out for consultation until Thursday, April 21, Western Bay of Plenty District Council’s draft 2022/23 Annual Plan is headlined by the question, “should the Pukehina Development Rate should continue to be collected?”

The draft Annual Plan also signals a rates increase of 3.96 per cent, slightly lower than the 3.98 per cent signalled for 2022/23 in the Long Term Plan 2021-31.

“Given we adopted the Long Term Plan less than a year ago – June 2021, there are no big changes to what was agreed with the community through the process,” says Western Bay Mayor Garry Webber.

“We are getting on with key projects and work, in an ever-changing Covid-19 landscape, to ensure we continue supporting the District’s strong economy and community’s needs.

“The only big change that is being considered affects the Pukehina Development Rate. Which is why we are having a specific conversation with the Pukehina community, who pay this rate.”

For 21 years, Council has been collecting the development rate from the Pukehina community to help reduce the cost of a future wastewater scheme, if one became necessary.

However, the uncertainty around how Central Government’s Three Waters Reform Programme would affect this fund presents the perfect opportunity to discuss what the future use of this rate should be.

Council was asked by the Pukehina Ratepayers and Residents Association to have this conversation with the Pukehina community.

“Should we keep collecting the rate to help reduce the cost of a future wastewater scheme, if one is needed? Or should future funds be repurposed for projects such as a skate park or boardwalk? Or should we take a break from collecting the rate?” says Webber.

“Whether you’re a past, present or future Pukehina resident, we want to hear your thoughts on the future of this rate (not the money already saved up over the last 21 years). You don’t have to have contributed to the rate in the past, to share your opinions on its future.”

To give feedback you can:

Visit haveyoursay.westernbay.govt.nz/annualplan2022

Join us at our community information session, 10am-12pm Saturday 2 April at the Pukehina Fishing Club

Visit one of Council’s library and service centres.

All Pukehina residents and ratepayers will receive an information booklet on the Pukehina Development Rate and voting card in the mail this week.

Also out for community feedback through the Annual Plan process are the following policies:

-Draft Fees and Charges 2022/23

-Te Puke-Maketu Ward Reserve Management Plan

-Draft Policy on Council Maintenance of Previously Unsealed Roads

-Review of Rates Relief Policies

-Draft Kerbside Rubbish and Recycling Policy

-Draft Seal Extension Prioritisation Policy

You can read about the polices and provide feedback online at haveyoursay.westernbay.govt.nz or by visiting one of Council’s library and service centres.  

The 2022/23 Annual Plan will be formally adopted on Wednesday, June 29.

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