A proposed average rates increase of 4.79 per cent a year is on the cards in a “budget” option for Thames-Coromandel District Council’s 2021-2031 Long Term Plan.
Also proposed are “must do” projects such as water supply upgrades and a new Thames pool, and the implementation of parking charges for visitors.
Until April 12, residents can share their thoughts on the document, which was approved by councillors at their March 10 meeting.
The plan includes a “no frills budget” option – council’s preferred option, which will see money spent only on essential projects.
For Thames, these projects include a Moanataiari coastal protection seawall renewal (costing $4.9m), a Puriri water supply treatment plant upgrade ($13.4m), Thames south water system improvements ($4.4m), and the Thames sub-regional pool replacement ($14m).
This option brings with it a proposed average 4.79 per cent rates increase per year over 10 years. This would include a proposed average rates increase of 7.1 per cent for the 2021-22 year, dwindling to 2.4 per cent in 2027, and 2.9 per cent in 2030.
However, a second option adding “nice to have” projects, including a Thames sports precinct and a Totara Valley Rd services extension, would increase rates to an average 9.34 per cent per year over 10 years.
Council is also asking for feedback on issues such as the increasing costs of rubbish and recycling, as well as getting “visitors and users to pay their fair share”.
According to the consultation document, the district’s ratepayers have had to fund services that benefitted visitors. Council agreed that was “not fair”.
Over the next 12 months, it will be looking at options for charging visitors for car parking at tourist hot spots and in towns.
The Long Term Plan will be adopted on June 30.
Residents can make a submission by visiting www.tcdc.govt.nz.
By KELLEY TANTAU