South Taranaki ratepayers can expect an average rates rise of almost four per cent over the next decade.
South Taranaki District Council's long term plan was formally adopted this week with an emphasis on economic growth, town centre upgrades and environmental sustainability.
The plan comes with an average rate increase of 3.99 per cent each year over the next 10 years.
Public consultation resulted in 215 submissions, and there was public support for the council's plans to undertake town centre upgrades in Ōpunakē, Manaia, Pātea, Waverley and Eltham, complete all three stages of the South Taranaki Business Park, and to fund an environment and sustainability strategy over the next ten years.
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South Taranaki Mayor Phil Nixon said the council's vision was to make South Taranaki "the most liveable District".
"Over the past decade we've focussed on upgrading the district's water infrastructure, key community facilities and implementing projects to make South Taranaki a desirable place to live and do business," Nixon said.
"We now have a much-improved water network and, since our last Long Term Plan three years ago, we have progressed the Hāwera Town Centre redevelopment, Te Ramanui o Ruapūtahanga and the Nukumaru Station Road extension projects."
Councillors also agreed to put an additional $100,000 each year towards resourcing the Horticultural Services team (in year 2 and 3), $10,000 extra each year towards the rural halls grant fund and $60,000 to be ring-fenced for the Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust.
Nixon said it was important to keep rates at an affordable level.
"We are funding our key projects with a combination of loans, external funding sources and earnings from the Long Term Investment Fund, rather than simply through rates," Nixon said.
"We believe our plan strikes the right balance between progress, affordability and providing the services and facilities our communities expect."