News & Events
Councillors discuss submissions to Draft Annual PlanThursday, 17 June 2010
The sustainability of rating increases, the roading rate, waste and wastewater contract funding and kerbside recycling were some of the key issues talked about by Southland District councillors at an extraordinary Council meeting to discuss submissions to the Draft Annual Plan.
Mayor Frana Cardno said submitters at Tuesday's hearing threw incorrect figures around about rates increases.
"We have a complicated rating system because we have given decision-making ability to our Community Boards and CDAs. The District rate increase of 6.45% is just one part of our rating system as we have several local rates for each area.
"It's not easy to give specifics but some ratepayers will have an overall rate increase that is less than 6.45& and some will have slightly more," Mrs Cardno said.
"We have tried very hard to save money and last year trimmed $3 million off corporate costs and we don't have a forestry dividend.
"However, the most important part in all of this is that roading costs are the main reason rates continue to increase and that increase cannot be compared to the CPI because the cost of bitumen and gravel are not part of the CPI.
"With our large roading network, we continue to struggle to meet the needs of basic maintenance and our funding from national level continues to reduce."
Changing to two wheelie bins, which includes a separate bin for recycling, was a major discussion point.
Council was originally in a regional partnership with Invercargill City Council and Gore District Council for a three-bin/two-bin system, but issues have arisen and Council now is looking at negotiating its own contract.
At the meeting Council agreed to retain funding in the budget for the two bins at an estimated cost of $1.87 million. The Council will be working with contractors to finalise details and costs before the new service is introduced.
Cr Jim Copland said he supported the two-bin system with the proviso that the recyclables can be used.
"It's beneficial for Southland to be seen to be recycling for our image. It's the right thing to do."
Cr Brian Dillon said he favoured the current situation with drop-off centres for recycling. Most people keen on recycling will take their recyclables to the drop-off centres.
"Ultimately education is the way to go. If you provide a service that picks up everything, you don't go down that path because you take the thought process out."
Group manager assets and services Cameron McIntosh said there will be a cost increase, even if Council stays with the one bin.
"We have to change, the contract has expired. The cost between one and two bins will be similar."
The Council's final plan which will be adopted on 30 June will increase wheelie bin rates to $204 for urban areas and $252 for those on rural collection routes.
The Council also decided that it would now charge water/wastewater operating and maintenance costs according to the number of rating units there are across the District with every rating unit paying the same amount. This means that properties in different parts of the district will pay the same amount for operating/maintenance contract related costs. Previously they paid different amounts based on historical costs for each scheme.
Of the twenty four submissions received on this, 13 favoured a rating unit basis and six favouring an even percentage where the 18% increase in contract costs was added on top of historical costs. People also remarked on how this was similar to the water and sewerage clubbing proposal put up in last year's Long Term Plan.
The last contract was awarded 12 years ago and the new contract reflects the changes in costs and processes for the contractor.
Mr Adamson said further discussion will be held on clubbing at next year's strategic retreat, so this is probably an interim process.
Cr Brian Drummond said he supported a per connection basis as it was better for the small towns like Ohai, Nightcaps and Wairio.
"There's no way you can put an 18% increase on those towns. You may as well as shut the towns downs."
Who to contact
If you would like to discuss a matter on this page, feel free to contact us:
Southland District Council
P.O. Box 903
Phone: 0800 732 732
Fax: 0800 732 329