Rates rise of 4.3pc below forecast

Waimate ratepayers are likely to face a 4.3 per cent increase in the 2014-15 year.

The increase comes in slightly below the forecast 4.62 per cent in the 2012-22 Long Term Plan with council saying it has been mindful of expenditure across all services.

While general rates are set to increase 1.69 per cent, targeted rates have been aligned to a user pays philosophy with a projected increase of 9.08 per cent in the 2014-15 draft Annual Plan.

Income projections show a significant jump in targeted rates for water supply - up from $1.74 million in 2014 to $1.88m in 2015.

Total income is projected to rise from $12.56m in 2013 to $13.27m this year while total expenditure is forecast at $13.43m in 2014, up from $12.87m last year.

Mayor Craig Rowley said national drinking water standards had impacted on targeted rates as costs were imposed by central government. He said he was otherwise happy with the figures.

Meanwhile, staff had been looking at contracts and making cost-cutting measures, he said.

Financial officer Graham Durston said the council had been working to try to "extract efficiencies".

"We've been able to utilise a lot of government purchasing contracts. Central government has been offering good terms for purchasing arrangements such as electricity, computers and motor vehicles."

Draft Annual Plan submissions close on April 1 and the council will hear submissions and make decisions on May 6.

The Timaru Herald