This is down from the 5.5% predicted in the 10 Year Plan and the 4.3% in the draft Plan. The increase for individual ratepayers will vary but for the average residential ratepayer with a land value of $136,000 the total rates for the year will be $2,140 - an increase of 2.6%. This year the recycling rate has been split into two components - a charge of $124 for kerbside recycling for properties on the recycling route and a charge of $75 for all properties to cover other rubbish and public recycling activity.
The reduction came about due to adjustments to proposed budgets including: an adjustment to grant provisions to reflect 1.6% movement in the CPI ($42,000 reduction in rates); reduction of $400,000 for the Under Veranda Lighting Project following the successful application to Central Energy Trust ($400,000 reduced borrowing and $14,000 reduction in rates); reduction of interest expense provision by $238,000.
Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor says it's not every annual plan process where you have decreasing rate rises.
"It's the third year of the Long Term Plan and I think Councillors have balanced listening to the needs of our community while keeping the proposed rates rise to a minimum."
Palmerston North City Council's chief executive Paddy Clifford says the adjustments that have been identified are pleasing.
"Mostly the reduction is outside of Council's control," he says. "However I'd like to again thank Central Energy Trust for its generosity in supporting the Under Veranda Lighting Project."
Some of the projects that will be carried out in the 2014/15
financial year include:
• Construction of a disk filter to remove phosphorus from treated wastewater, subject to a study of the potential effects of this on the river ($900,000).
• Programme aimed at revitalising Broadway Avenue ($50,000).
• Seismic strengthening of Council owned buildings ($1.065m).
• Replacement of the big screen at Arena Manawatū, which will also be used for community events ($250,000 with the remainder to be found through fundraising).
• Improve under veranda lighting in the central business district ($205,000, a further $400,000 provided by Central Energy Trust).
• Upgrading parking meters to ensure new credit cards can continue to be used ($169,000).
• Begin construction of the proposed cycleway between Fitzherbert Avenue Bridge and Linton ($400,000).
• Put in a single non-fluoridated water dispensing tap in the city ($15,000).
• Bus terminal project ($400,000, down from $3.5million as the project is unlikely to be built in the next financial year because a preferred site has not been identified).
• Papaioea Place eco-friendly housing replacement ($1.059m).
Design work will start on the following:
• Proposed skate park redevelopment ($25,000).
• Modifications to the toddler's pool at Freyberg Pool ($50,000).
• Proposed new library and community centre at Kelvin Grove ($30,000).
• Investigate options for locations and designs for a dog park.
• Investigate potential for a cycleway from the city to Bunnythorpe.
In all 188 submissions were received, representing 432 people. 56 of the 188 submissions were presented by people or organisations at eight hearings.