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The Central Otago District Council rates have been set with the adoption of the 2022-23 Annual Plan at the Council meeting at Alexandra on Wednesday 1 June.

Having not signalled any significant changes for year two of the Council’s 2021-2031 Long-term Plan, which involved an extensive public consultation, there was no requirement to consult on the2022-23Annual Plan.

In adopting the Long-term Plan (LTP), the average rates increase was predicted to reach 7.8%. However, this has reduced to 7.5%.The fees and chargesfor 2022-23 financial year were also adopted as part of this process.

At the meeting, Central Otago Mayor Tim Cadogan believed this was a good result, a view he reiterated on his Facebook Live post this week.

“To do the things we have committed to doing in the Long-term Plan last year after significant consultation with the community, we were anticipating a 7.8% average rate rise which has come back to 7.5%. That is not a bad effort compared to the current rate of inflation, although rates and inflation aren’t totally directly linked.

“This is an average rate rise and different areas and different types of properties will have a different level of rise that make up the average. For instance, the Teviot Valley rates increase will be higher due to the impact of the funding agreed last year for the new swimming pool.

“Council has chosen not to reduce any levels of service across the organisation, which is what would have been required to bring the rise back further.”

CODC Executive Manager Corporate Services Leanne Macdonald said the

Council had also seen increased costs relating to wastewater and waste (rubbish) collection and disposal.

Wastewater and waste minimisation had increased in year two of the LTP as predicted. This created differences across the district as well, she said.

“For example, Clyde currently does not pay the wastewater uniform charge of $601.94, so will not feel the impact of this increase.Hotels and motels that have additional pans will feel the increase of wastewater more than residential ratepayers, who do not get charged for additional pans. Ratepayers who have rubbish bins included in their rates for the first time will feel a greater impact of rising waste collection costs.These variances can be across the ward, and also across ratepayers within the district depending on their individual circumstances; this causes anomalies in our average rates increase.

“Finally, waste collection has also increased, so our bins increased by 6% from $448 to $475 for a set of three bins and the waste management charge went from $69.92 to $73.98, so while not much in terms of dollars, is still a 5.8% increase in this area. The good news story to this is of course that we need to drive our waste down in order to reduce cost. So, we need to keep encouraging that.”

The ward-specific rates were set for Māniatoto as a 0.4% decrease-average across the district and Teviot a 5.2% increase., Cromwell ward-specific average rates increase was 4.1% and Vincent ward-specifics average rates increase was 5%.

“These variances reflect the various ward specific projects going on in their areas.

It should be noted that increases or decreases are specific to these communities and do not include the district-wide charges and metered water charges.”