Does Stratford need another residential subdivision, and if so, should Council be the developer? Should water consumption be metered? Is introducing a combined food and green waste collection service worth an increase in Council debt of $300,000? Should everyone pay the same for economic development or should commercial property owners pay more?
These are just some of the questions being put to Stratford District ratepayers through the Stratford District Council Long Term Plan (LTP) which is now out for consultation.
The consultation document was adopted by the Council at last Tuesday's extraordinary meeting, with the consultation period opening the next day. Public and community stakeholder meetings will take place throughout April, with the consultation period ending on May 2, when submissions will also close. Council will then meet later that month to hear and consider any submissions received, with the final Long Term Plan 2021-2031 required to be formally adopted by Council by the end of June this year.
Stratford District Mayor Neil Volzke says the LTP balances the needs, wants and opportunities for the district over the next 10 years.
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"Our ratepayers are front of mind when planning future activity and we've tried to maximise investment from other external sources to minimise the cost of services and amenities to ratepayers in this plan."
He says the consultation document is designed to enable the community to assess a range of expenditure proposals and have a say on them.
"We think Stratford has a good vibe at the moment, with significant amounts of new work under way, creating employment opportunities and improving our town and district. We want to keep this momentum going, but are well aware of the need to not over-burden our ratepayers. We believe this LTP meets those demands, but we want to know what the people of Stratford district think."
Neil encourages everyone to read the document and have their say on the proposals and ideas it contains.
"It's your viewpoints and concerns that elected members value most, so please take this opportunity to have your say and help shape the future of your district."
Disclosure: Editor Ilona Hanne is married to the CEO of Stratford District Council.