Rates bills set to rise 2.7pc

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Nearly $25 million will be collected by Masterton District Council in rates next financial year, with householders' bills creeping up 2.7 per cent.

The increase is down on an earlier prediction of 4.5 per cent and will became official when the rates are struck on June 26.

On Wednesday, the council finalised its yearly budget apart from discussion on submissions made to the annual plan by the Wairarapa Rugby Football Union.

The union has put in written submissions to the council regarding proposed lighting for Memorial Park No1 ground and overall plans for further development of the park.

These will be heard just prior to striking the rates.

The key driver of the 2.7 per cent rates rise is a $120,000 increase in roading costs, partly as a result of subsidy changes.

Typically, urban ratepayers can expect to face a 2.7 per cent increase and rural ratepayers slightly less at 2.6 per cent.

The budget takes into account a decrease in solid waste management costs, partly due to user-pays, and sewerage costs are also slightly lower than earlier expected.

At this week's meeting, the council finalised its grant to Cobblestones Museum, Greytown.

The regional early settlers museum had asked council to contribute $20,000 to help finance its redevelopment programme.

But the council settled on a $10,000 grant this year, reverting to a $5000 contribution as from 2014/15.

Historically, the council had given Cobblestones $2000 a year but stopped its contributions altogether until last year, when it reinstated its grant and contributed $5000.

The council has allocated $3000 for road signs directing visitors to the Dixon St precinct, which includes the Wool Shed Shears History Museum, Aratoi and the i-Site.

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