Ratepayers wanting changes to the way their district should be governed can put pen to paper when public feedback on Whangarei District Council's 10-year plan opens today.
The month-long consultation on the draft Long Term Council Community Plan 2009-19 details what the local authority is proposing in terms of rates, projects and asset management.
The WDC not only wants to know what decisions should be made but is inviting ideas about how projects could be funded through different agencies or achieved without financial input.
The plan was approved by district councillors on April 1.
The most topical issue for ratepayers is the proposed annual rates rise of 3 per cent, or an extra $51 per household on average next year.
In total, an average residential or lifestyle homeowner will pay $494 for general rates, a $237 uniform annual general charge, $40 for recreational facilities, $15 for coastal amenities, $135 for refuse, $505 for sewerage and $311 in water charges for 2009-2010.
No money has been put aside to deal with sewage spills and for flood mitigation in the city, apart from a short-term $4 million fix that could cut harbour sewage spills to one every two years.
On solid waste, the WDC is working on plans for a $10 million landfill at Puwera, about 8.5km south of the city and 1.5km southwest of Portland.
The biggest spending, about $257 million, will be on roads - a large part of which would be provided by government taxes.
A major roading project will be a new $33.7 million harbour crossing to Pohe Is to improve traffic flows in the city.
Parks will receive $15 million, including $1 million for Kensington Gymnasium in 2009-10.
A new water source and upgrade of the Whau Valley water treatment plant forms part of the $74.4 million to be spent on water works.
A total of $4 million - $2.5 million for the Okara Park upgrade and $1.5 million towards an events centre - has also been budgeted.
The council wants to cap its debt at $130 million, with repayments planned from property sales of about $18 million.
The sales figures exclude $7.4 million the council recently received from the sale of the Kaituna Block on Whangarei Harbour and a 55ha forestry block on Kioreroa Rd.
Total expenses in the 10 years are forecast to increase from $107 million to $138 million while revenue is predicted to rise from $123 million to $155 million.
There are 38,379 rateable properties in Whangarei.
" Submissions will be accepted until May 8 and can be mailed, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or lodged online at www.wdc.govt.nz/ltccp. Telephone submissions may be made by calling 0800 932 463, or faxed to (09) 4387632. Submissions will be heard on May 26-28. The final LTCCP will be adopted by the end of June.
* MAIN ISSUES IN THE DRAFT LTCCP 2009-19 ARE:
• Rates increase of 3 percent or on average $51 per household next year;
• No money to deal with sewage spills and flood mitigation in the city, apart from a short-term $4 million fix to cut harbour sewage spills to one every two years.
• Plans for a $10-million landfill at Puwera to avoid carting rubbish to Redvale in Auckland.
• The largest WDC expenses - $257 million or 60 percent of its budget - will be on roads, including a new $33.7 million harbour crossing link to Pohe Is.
• $74.3 million for water, including a new water source and upgrading the Whau Valley water treatment plant.
• Parks will receive $15.4 million.
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