South Taranaki District Council is proposing a lower rate increase in its 2019/20 Annual Plan than was initially projected in its 2018-28 Long Term Plan.

The Council, which approved its Annual Plan at a meeting on April 1, is proposing to reduce the total rate increase from 3.47 per cent to 2.98 per cent.

The effect on individual properties will vary due to the district wide property revaluation in 2018, where commercial and residential properties had a significant increase in value compared to rural properties.

South Taranaki Mayor Ross Dunlop says he is pleased that Council has been able to reduce the projected rate increase.

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"Our Council is always conscious of the need to keep any rate increases to a minimum, so we are pleased that by keeping a tight control on expenditure, and savings made through lower borrowing costs, we have been able to reduce the 2019/20 rate increase from what was projected in year two of our Long Term Plan."

Ross says Council's focus for the next year continues to be on the revitalisation of the Hāwera Central Business District - primarily the development of the library, culture and arts centre Te Ramanui o Ruapūtahanga), development of town centre strategies for Eltham, Manaia, Ōpunake, Pātea and Waverley, implementation of the District Pathways Programme and further improvements to the district's water and wastewater infrastructure.

Other notable projects the Council is working on in 2019/2020 include designing a new community facility in Manaia, earthquake strengthening Pātea's Hunter Shaw building and building the Waiinu Beach wastewater plant, Waverley Water Treatment Plant and pipe replacements for Eltham Water Treatment Plant

Ross says changes to the Local Government Act mean councils' are no longer required to consult with the community on their annual plans if there are no significant changes from what was outlined in their Long Term Plans.

"Because there are no significant changes and the rate increase is actually lower than what was outlined in the Long Term Plan, the Council has decided not to do a formal Special Consultative Procedure. However, we are still giving the public an opportunity to provide feedback on the Plan if they wish to."

■ Information on the Council's 2019 – 2020 Annual Plan will be published on the Council's website: www.southtaranaki.com
Feedback can be submitted until Friday, April 26.