Council Deliberates on Draft Long Term Plan

Published: 31-Jan-2018

This week sees three days of budget meetings as the Waimakariri District Council deliberates on its Draft 2018-28 Long Term Plan (LTP).  Although there are a number of proposals to consider, there are two of particular significance.

These pertain to the $27.85 million Multi-use sports facility proposal as well as the kerbside collection options that were shared with the community during last year’s WMMP (Waste Management Minimisation Plan) public consultation. 20180131_LongTermPlan

The WMMP presents a number of increased level of service options, and allows residents to opt in for their desired level of collection service if they want to change, or to retain the status quo (their current level of service).

The proposed Multi-use sports facility will cost $91 per-property across the District.

This would be progressively charged in rates that relates to the build.

The proposed rates in the LTP over the next five years of the 10-year plan (with the proposed multi-sports option included) are forecast to be within 4.0% - 4.4% p.a. before returning to be in line within inflation in the second five years of the LTP.

There are a number of other costs factored into the LTP.

Over the 10-year period of the plan, the Council has allowed for Business and Economic Research Limited (BERL) inflation that averages 2.3% per year.

The costs relating to the Earthquake and Regeneration for the period add another 1%.

This is a continuation of the financing strategy that was put in place in 2012 to attend to recovery and regeneration.

These two factors together make up about 3% over the three years, before consideration of any improvements and growth allowances.

The proposed average rate of $2,560 increases to $2,673 in 2018/19.

This is a 4.4% increase and will be charged from 1 July.

It should be noted that this figure is the average rate across the district.

It excludes ECAN rates.

The rate to an individual property could also be influenced, either higher or lower than the average, depending on the level of services being received.

For example, some rural properties have targeted rates that relate to individual services they are provided.

Within the draft LTP, the Council provides an Infrastructure Strategy (IS) and a Financial Strategy (FS).

These place context around the management of council assets, and cater for expected growth within the District and the need to meet the increasing community expectations of the standard of service we provide.

The IS strategy outlines that the Council is in a good position to cater for growth in both land provision and key infrastructure.

The Eastern District Sewerage Scheme and Rangiora Water Supply Scheme are good examples of this.

They both have capacity to cater for the expected growth in demand as new homes are established in these areas.

The IS also covers significant matters that can affect us all on a daily basis.

These include issues such as our drinking water meeting the required national health standards, our waste water, fresh water management, flood protection, roads and town centre development, recreation, green space and community facilities, planning for natural hazards and climate change.

The Council has based its growth projections on Statistics New Zealand’s medium to high growth projections.

These are slightly lower than they have been previously, as economic growth across the country slows down a little bit.

The Financial Strategy outlines the key financial parameters and limits within which the Council will operate over the next years, ensuring that everything that we do is affordable for the community.

In the next three years, we are forecasting to spend $150 million on capital replacement and an improved level of service or growth works.

Our debt will peak in the fourth year of the LTP at $217 million.

This is well within our primary lenders (Local Government Funding Agency) policy limits, and has been a large factor in the excellent credit ratings that we have received consistently from the international rating agency, Standard and Poor’s.

We are also prepared if unforeseen events impact financially.

The self-imposed policy limits we have followed have given us room, within acceptable debt limits, should a significant disaster, such as an Alpine rupture, occur.

The Council’s budget meetings conclude on Thursday.

The Draft Long Term Plan will be made available to the public for consultation from Friday 9 March.

Average rates movement per area.

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Name: Matt McIlraith

Phone: 0800 965 468