Waikato District residents are what rate increase option they prefer, whether the council should sell its pensioner housing and whether it should continue its inorganic rubbish collection.
Feedback opened this week on Waikato District Council's consultation document as it looks to prepare the district's plan of attack for the next 10 years with public drop-in sessions starting on Sunday and running through the month.
The 2021-31 Long Term Plan is reviewed and updated every three years. The council is also asking for feedback on the way it hands out funding, user fees and charges, its development contributions policy and the community hall catchment review.
The council is proposing a "hard and fast" general rate increase in year 1 of 9 per cent and then 3.5 per cent for year 2 and 3 of the plan. The other option is to set the general rate increase at 7 per cent in year 1, 6 per cent in year 2 and 4 per cent in year 3.
The inorganic kerbside rubbish collection service is popular but is becoming harder and harder to deliver, not just because of rising costs, the council says.
And it has 34 pensioner flats in Tuakau, Huntly and Ngaruawahia, which it is proposing selling to a dedicated social housing provider.
District mayor Allan Sanson says the council needs to balance what it can deliver with what is affordable in terms of rates and debt.
"As a fast-growth area council, this balancing act will prove to be a huge challenge for us all in the coming years. We need to keep up with this growth, while making sure our community is a desirable place to live, work and play," he says.
"As we worked through preparing for the next 10 years, we knew we were looking down the barrel of rising costs in the Three Waters area. This is mostly by stricter controls for water quality and by the growth in our district.
"We need to balance the services we provide with what our community can afford. As elected members representing you, we have had to make some tough decisions as we have prepared this LTP.
"We've had to weigh up what is best and right for the district, with what we feel is affordable. Trust me when I say there have been many sleepless nights mulling this dilemma over."
The issues are outlined in a consultation document, which will be available from next week at all council offices and libraries or by phoning 0800 492 452, otherwise check out www.waikatodistrict.govt.nz/ltp for more information. Submissions close at 5pm on Friday May 7.
Coming to a town near you
To make sure everyone can get involved, the council will have drop-in sessions where people may ask questions or get help making a submission.
• Port Waikato: Sunday April 11, 11am-2pm, Port Waikato Community Hub.
• Pokeno: Monday April 12, 6.30pm-8pm, Pokeno Hall; Sunday April 18, 8am-2pm, Pokeno Market.
• Tuakau: Tuesday April 13, 6.30pm-8pm, Tuakau Hall.
• Te Akau: Tuesday April 13, 6.30pm-8pm, Te Akau Complex.
• Glen Murray: Wednesday April 14, 6.30pm-8pm, Glen Murray Hall.
• Te Kauwhata: Wednesday April 14, 6.30pm-8pm, Aparangi, Simmons Hall.
• Huntly: Thursday April 15, 6.30pm-8pm, Huntly Memorial Hall.
• Taupiri: Friday April 16, 11am-2pm, Farmsource Taupiri (barbecue).
• Ngaruawahia: Monday April 19, 6.30pm-8pm, Ngaruawahia War Memorial Hal.l
• Mangatangi: Monday April 19, 6.30pm-8pm, Mangatangi Hall.
• Otaua: Tuesday April 20, 6.30pm-8pm, Otaua Hall.
• Gordonton: Wednesday April 21, 6.30pm-8pm , Gordonton Hall.
• Te Kowhai: Thursday April 22, 6.30pm-8pm, Te Kowhai Hall.
• Tamahere: Tuesday April 27, 6.30pm-8pm, Tamahere Model Country School, After School Building. Saturday April 17, 8.30am-1pm, Tamahere Market.
• Matangi: Wednesday April 28, 6.30pm-8pm, Matangi Hall.
• Raglan: Thursday April 29, 6.30pm-8pm, Raglan Supper Room. Sunday April 11, 9am-2pm, Raglan Creative Market.