Horowhenua District Council wants to keep its fees and charges at present levels until at least July 2021.

Horowhenua District Council adopted next year's schedule of fees and charges at its meeting on 6 May. Most fees and charges will remain unchanged in the 2020/2021 financial year, with a small number of new fees and fee reductions.

Mayor Bernie Wanden said the decision would help to provide relief for members of the community who were struggling financially as a result of Covid-19.

"We understand the social and economic wellbeing of many in our community has been affected by this pandemic. Keeping fees and charges largely the same is something we can do in the short-term to help make things easier for those people," he said.

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Council's schedule of fees and charges sets out any user charges that apply to services and facilities such as waste transfer stations and rubbish bags, community centres, halls and meeting rooms, library charges; swimming pools, animal control, parking, cemetery services, alcohol licensing, road corridor access and fixed fee building consents.

In response to a question raised by Councillor Christine Mitchell about the impact of zero increases on Council's ability to cover the actual costs of services and facilities, Chief Executive David Clapperton said options may include looking at levels of service or debt funding.

"These are decisions Council will need to make as part of recalibrating our Annual Plan 2020/2021, after submission hearings have been held," he said.

New fees include fees for some facilities and equipment, such as mobile televisions, laptops and stages for functions and events; a small fee for casual netball and tennis bookings at sports grounds; hourly, full day or cost-coverage charges for technical and security staff support at community centres and some new environmental health charges.

Some fees and charges, such as community rate hireage fees for some community halls, have been reduced to encourage uptake.

The decision excludes fees and charges for food businesses subject to the Food Act 2014 and for planning services subject to the Resource Management Act. Charges for these services require public consultation and were considered by Council at its April meeting.

In a video on his Facebook page Mayor Bernie Wanden said council will carefully consider all submission received on the Annual Plan.

"Forty five people will formally submit their view via zoom or the phone this week. We will look at all this very carefully.

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"There is much to consider and it is great to have so much feedback from the community," he said.

HDC has taken the opportunity of the lockdown do some maintenance on the Levin pool and plans to fix the Queen Street/Cambridge Street roundabout, which will be closed to traffic until the end of next week at least.

Submission to the Annual Plan will be heard this Wednesday and Thursday. More information: https://www.horowhenua.govt.nz/Council/Your-Council/Council-Meetings