Rates rise lower than expected

AUDREY MALONE
Last updated 05:00 25/06/2014

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A slightly lower than expected average rates rise of 3.73 per cent was confirmed for the Timaru District at yesterday's district council meeting.

In March this year, the council debated the proposed budget and had recommended the average rates increase to be 3.81 per cent.

Mayor Damon Odey said the decrease was due to the council being able to look at the draft budget and ensure the right amount of money was allocated.

He said it was not about cutting anything out of the proposed budget.

"We went through it with a fine tooth comb, just fine-tuning some stuff.

"Everybody wins," he said.

Although the urban areas of Geraldine, Pleasant Point, Temuka and Timaru would all have average rates increases of less than 3 per cent, rural property owners would be hit harder in the pocket.

Those who own small lifestyle properties have the highest average increase at 4.52 per cent, medium rural blocks will have a 4.44 per cent rates rise and larger ones a 4.42 per cent rise.

Odey said a "major, major" project for the council will be the roading in the area.

"Roading is obviously number one," he said.

About $14 million would be put towards roading.

Some of this funding would be dedicated to the sealing of unsealed roads in the district.

The other big project being undertaken by the council was spending about $12 million upgrading the water and sewer networks.

Other projects to be tackled by the council will include replenishing the flood relief fund, improving Temuka and Geraldine footpaths and a structural report for the Theatre Royal.

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- The Timaru Herald

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