Focus on core work in next 10 years

Published: 3 July 2024

New drinking water and wastewater pipes being laid along Elizabeth Street.

Council has struck its rates for the 2024-25 financial year, following adoption of the Long Term Plan last week.

Chief Executive Hamish Riach said rates collected helped fund Council business, which included providing water and wastewater services, as well as roads and facilities like EA Networks Centre, the Ashburton Library and the Ashburton Art Gallery and Museum.

In the next 10 years, the focus will be on core infrastructure - about $50 million will be spent on new water projects, $43m on new wastewater projects and $115.9m on roads.

“The Long Term Plan outlines what we will be doing, the key projects and issues, the costs, and how we plan to pay for it. Developing it required a balance between increases to rates and other Council charges while keeping our district moving forward.

“The average rates rise for this new financial year is 11.8 per cent, which is a balance between affordability, delivering essential services and doing work that our residents have asked for.

“I’d like to thank everyone who took the time to provide feedback, including the 1522 who made submissions. Your input was critical for this plan, which is a key planning document.”

One of the major decisions was to introduce a kerbside greenwaste collection in 2026. Another was for Council to exit its stockwater service by 2027 and a Stockwater Working Group will be set up to assist with the transition and monitor progress.

“The Long Term Plan also includes significant investment in our infrastructure, spending millions annually on roads, water supply, wastewater and stormwater. It looks to the future, by getting out of the stockwater service and expanding the EA Networks Centre stadium in later years,” Mr Riach said.

“Other challenges for the future will be funding the second Ashburton River bridge and Government’s Local Water Done Well programme, which will determine how our water services are delivered.”

New fees and charges came into force on 1 July.

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