Property-owners in Hastings can expect to start paying a little more for council services, after Hastings District Council approved an average rate rise of 5.8 per cent.
Property rates for the 2018/19 financial year have now been adopted by the council, following completion of its of the Long Term Plan (LTP) process.
The average rate increase will be 5.8 per cent, however the changes to individual property rates vary depending on area (urban; rural; commercial) and which services are connected to the property.
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said councillors had put a great deal of effort into finding the balance between delivering projects and managing a responsible budget.
"We listened to the community's views and heard more than 1200 public submissions.
"Our substantial investment in vastly improving our drinking water infrastructure, while keeping the rate increase to 5.8 per cent is very pleasing.
"We also have a number of very exciting projects going ahead across our district, including in our parks and reserves, and in our central city. We are very conscious of keeping rates affordable for our residents, while providing for our community's aspirations and giving attention to the requirements needed to run our very successful district.
"I am very pleased that we have been able to strike a balance that realises all of these priorities."
The new water strategy had the largest impact on the final budget. The cost of drinking water improvements accounts for almost 3.3 per cent of the average 5.8 per cent rate rise.
"A great deal of planning has gone into the best, most effective way to carry out the improvements; both practically and financially. The bulk of the cost is spread over three years which is the optimum period that will allow us to get all of this work done. It also assists financially by spreading the cost."
As part of the LTP process, the council was also able to provide support for a number of very worthwhile community projects, she said.
Those include installing a half-basketball court in William Nelson Park, and providing funding for the Palmbrook Care Group, surf life saving, the Raureka Community hub; Keirunga Gardens art complex, Knowledge Bank, and the Guthrie-Smith Trust, which runs the Guthrie Smith Arboretum and Education Centre.
Council staff provided examples of the impact of rates on typical properties, noting that the rate is based on land values.
For a Hastings urban home connected to the public water supply on a section with a land value of $175,000, the 2018/19 annual rate will rise by $151 ($2408).
For a medium size farm (land value $2.6m), the annual rate will rise by $237 ($7777).
Property owners can find their property's 2018/19 annual rate by entering the address on Council's website: www.hastingsdc.govt.nz/services/properties-and-rates/rates