Draft Revenue & Financing Policy
People in the Ashburton District are being asked to have their say on how the Council funds its activities and services, following the adoption of the draft Revenue & Financing Policy at an Extraordinary Council meeting on Thursday
"The Revenue & Financing Policy is a significant document for Council and residents. It outlines the different rates that pay for the wide variety of local services which Council provides for the community. The policy shows these different rates including targeted rates, a general rate, user charges and a Uniform Annual General Charge," Council Community Relations Manager Vincie Billante says.
The draft policy proposes some key changes for residents. One of the most significant changes is the proposal to change the amenity rating at Lake Hood from rural to urban.
"The rationale for this change is that the levels of service provided at Lake Hood are more in line with urban amenities than rural amenities, so the intent is to treat Lake Hood the same as the Ashburton urban area to make it fair and equitable."
These urban amenities include street lighting, footpaths, kerb and channel, streetscapes, parks and reserves, and sports grounds provided to Lake Hood residents.
The draft policy also has proposed changes to EA Networks Centre fees, as well as how community pools, grants and funding, memorial halls and reserve boards, community safety and democracy activities are funded through rates.
Ms Billante says, "Council needs to consider the community's input to help decide how our services and activities are funded, so make sure you have your voice heard by making a submission on this draft policy."
Submissions on the draft Revenue & Financing Policy are welcome until 5.00pm Monday 19 February. The consultation document and submission forms are available at the Council office, 5 Baring Square West, Ashburton
Draft Development & Financial Contributions
Ashburton District Council is seeking feedback from the community on its draft Development & Financial Contributions Policy, which is now open for consultation until 19 February.
The draft policy outlines Council's charges for new developments in the district due to growth, and sets out when contributions are required and how they are calculated. The main change proposed in the draft policy is to increase the cap for development contributions charged for community infrastructure to $2,500 (plus GST).
Council Community Relations Manager Vincie Billante says the current policy seems to be working well, however Council is proposing some changes to help ensure the approach to requiring contributions is fair and sufficiently caters for expected growth.
"Under the Local Government Act, councils can charge development contributions for additional demands on infrastructure because of growth. A prime example is the water and wastewater services needed in new subdivisions, which we charge at the time of a building consent. If no development contributions were charged, Council would have to rate for new infrastructure, or provide lower levels of service.
"We think charging development contributions is the best way to ensure a fair and equitable sharing of costs so current ratepayers are not burdened with paying for growth, but the services provided remain at the same level that the community expects," Ms Billante says.
Submissions on the draft Development & Financial Contributions Policy can be made until 5.00pm Monday 19 February. The consultation document and submission forms are available at the Council office, 5 Baring Square West, Ashburton and online.