There was a feeling of accomplishment around the Council table this week as the Hauraki District Long Term Plan was finalised.
Deputy Mayor Toby Adams says increasing infrastructure costs, population growth and the need to be prepared for the effects of things like climate change have all contributed to an average rates increase of 4.4% over the next ten years. The increase in the first year will be 6.4%.
“As outlined in our We Need to Talk booklet and website we’ve been doing lots of tuning under the hood to keep costs low but a lot of our costs are for things we must do, either to keep our infrastructure working or upgrade our services to meet new government standards,” he said.
He acknowledged the community’s feedback and the work of staff over the last few months to help Councillors make their decisions and choose the route we will navigate for the next ten years.
“We hit the road with our `We Need to Talk’ campaign in March and April and received some great feedback from all of our communities. We’ve taken all of this into account and the end result is that we now have a great road map to follow.”
Councillors were out and about in their communities from 23 March to 30 April and overall we received 288 written submissions, plus a significant amount of feedback via social media, our website, community events, face to face, and at our hearings.
We heard that our communities were generally comfortable with the route we proposed and supported most of our proposals.
We took a U-turn on some projects because the community had no appetite to travel down these roads. For other projects we made a slight detour, and some proposals have been parked in the short term because we need to talk with our communities some more before we hit the road again.
Our finalised Long Term Plan will be available on our website within the next two weeks. We’ll also provide a summary of the main decisions in local newspapers, Facebook and on our website. This summary will also be sent to individuals who provided feedback before the end of July.