Cromwell residents now face a rates increase of 5.6 per cent this year - significantly lower than the rise first signalled by the Central Otago District Council.
Under the council's 2012 to 2022 long-term plan, rates for Cromwell residents would have risen by 9.6 per cent during the 2013-2014 financial year.
But council staff and Cromwell Community Board members have made changes to reduce the rates increase, including deferring repainting the Cromwell fruit statue and putting off the upgrading of the town's memorial hall by a year, to 2014-15.
Other savings have been made through more accurate budgeting, changes to the timing of community board grants and changes to interest levels.
Community board chairman Neil Gillespie said the revised increase would become part of the council's annual plan, which would be released for public submission before being considered by the full council. He said the board was ultimately unanimous in its decisions to find ways to reduce rates but was aware that the deferred projects would still need to be funded in future years.
- The Southland Times
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