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Kaikoura Star - 2018-06-20

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Council working through rates submissions

NEWS

EMMA DANGERFIELD

The Kaiko¯ ura District Council is deliberating on its three-year plan following two days of submissions hearings last week. A total of 133 submissions were received, with 34 choosing to speak to their submission. Last year the council only received 60 submissions. Council CEO Angela Oosthuizen said she was pleased with the amount of engagement over the plan this time around, with more than 350 issues raised by ratepayers. Key topics for the public were the swimming pool, community facilities and proposed rates rise (an average of 35 to 40 per cent over the next three years), with many submitters questioning the council’s need to fund significantly more staff. There were also concerns raised about the proportion of the rates rise which is directly related to the Kaiko¯ ura rebuild. Ralph Hogan questioned how people on a fixed income would cope with needing to find 50 per cent more in rates in five years. ‘‘These increases are simply unmanageable. If there was a time to sell assets, it is now,’’ Hogan told councillors. Community facilities such as the scout hall were also a key factor for many. A list of full submissions can be found on the council website, and the final version of the plan is due to be adopted on June 29th.

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