Ashburton District Council has adopted its 2014/15 Annual Plan with rates remaining comfortably within the cap set by Council in its financial strategy for the period 2012-22.
The overall rate requirement Council needs to fund its work programme will increase for current ratepayers by 7.2 percent.
A further one percent of rates required in the coming year are predicted to come from growth in the district.
Council's rates revenue will be $28.8 million for the 2014/15 year, with a total revenue of $54.7 million.
Mayor Angus McKay says the Annual Plan process has again been a balancing act – looking at the needs and expectations of the community needs and balancing those with the cost of rates.
"As a Council we need to balance our debt and the level of rates our community can afford while providing quality core infrastructure and services that are necessary to grow our community and economy," Mr McKay said.
"Council has worked hard to maintain the affordability of the services and facilities we believe are necessary to maintain our quality of life for the district," he said.
"The work programme and budget outlined in this Plan reflect the remarkable transformation we are undergoing as a growing community and will lay a strong platform for our community for the years ahead," he said.
"Council recognises progress needs to be affordable for our residents and is continuing to look at all aspects of its business to ensure we provide cost effective services for our community." said Mr McKay.
It was evident from the submissions that increased investment in roading and keeping an eye on rates affordability remain top of mind for residents.
Council recognises this strong community support for increasing expenditure in roading and in response to this, an additional $500,000 of capital expenditure (which brings the overall roading budget to around $1 million more than the budget agreed by NZTA), has been budgeted in 2014/15 for this purpose.
The additional funding will be targeted toward key road improvement priorities.
Council also received submissions suggesting more be done to increase the funding that the New Zealand Transport Agency provides to Council for road maintenance and improvement.
Council will continue to lobby for a fairer contribution from the government to maintain the district's roads at an appropriate standard.
Learn more about the 2014/15 Annual Plan