A rate increase of 10 per cent to fund a clean-up of Hawke's Bay waterways is set to be the hot topic at a Hawke's Bay Regional council annual plan meeting today.
Today 31 people will have their say on the regional council's proposed 2017-2018 Annual Plan. Overall 137 submissions were received.
Many related to the council's plan to clean up six environmental "hot spots".
The council is recommending a base rate increase of 4.88 per cent to fund a "business as usual" delivery of council's services. In order to create an "environmental kickstart fund", they are proposing an further rise of 5 per cent - a total rates hike of 9.88per cent.
This fund would go toward plans to clean up "environment hot spots" - including Lake Tutira, Ahuriri Estuary, Whakaki Lake and Wairoa River, Lake Whatuma and the Tukituki catchment, and Karamu Stream.
The majority of submitters supported the proposed 9.88 per cent, with 56 choosing this option.
Twenty-nine stated their preference for no rates rise, while 17 chose the option of a 4.88 per cent increase as outlined in the Long Term Plan.
The resounding message from those who supported the 9.88 per cent increase was that it was the "only option" to ensure action was taken in cleaning up the region's problem areas.
Many included the provision they supported the increase as long as it was a one-off which was used for its correct purpose.
The majority of those who advocated for no rate increase questioned why the extra money was needed, and recommended other ways the money could be raised.
Under the proposed increase, households in the urban Napier/Hastings area could expect an additional cost in the 2017-2018 year of between $15 and $33 - or $3 for Flaxmere.
Households in Wairoa could expect an additional yearly cost of about $15, or an extra $16.80 for Central Hawke's Bay.
Other issues raised through submissions included erosion at Westshore Beach, the Ahuriri Estuary enhancement, Heretaunga aquifer concerns and requests for funding.
Verbal submissions will begin at 9am today. Council will consider all submissions before making any changes to the 2017-18 Annual Plan and adopting it at the end of June.
The approved rating option would come into effect on July 1.