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Public encouraged to have their say on draft Annual Plan – Dunedin City Council

Dunedin (Wednesday, 3 April 2024) – Mayor of Dunedin Jules Radich is inviting the public to have their say on the Dunedin City Council’s draft Annual Plan 2024-2025.

“Annual Plans are an important chance for Council to check in with our community. It’s an opportunity for us to update the public on what we’re doing and hear about their priorities for the year ahead.

“A lot of the focus has been on the rates rise proposed for the 2024-25 year, but there are other issues to consider as well.”

Members of the public have until 12 noon on 24 April to make a submission in writing or online at dunedin.govt.nz/2024AP. Submitters can also speak to their submission at public hearings to be held in May.

Mr Radich says the draft budget includes the proposed 17.5% average rates rise, but also a proposed 11% ($14-$25 per week) rent increase for the DCC’s community housing tenants, to offset rising costs.

The plan also includes a proposed change to ownership of the two artificial hockey turfs at the McMillian Hockey Centre at Logan Park.

The Otago Hockey Association wants to replace the turfs, and Council’s preferred option is to assume ownership of the turfs, borrow money to replace them, and then lease the new fields back to the Association.

“These sorts of decisions are important for our community, and we want to hear from as many people as possible before deciding our next steps, so I encourage everyone to have their say,” Mr Radich says.

The proposed average rates increase includes 4.4% for the city’s new kerbside collection service, beginning on 1 July 2024. This cost amounts to $301.50 per household per year, or about $5.80 per week, which might actually be a cost saving for some residents, Mr Radich says.

Other essential services, such as the supply of safe drinking water and wastewater disposal, also have higher regulations to meet, Mr Radich says.

“This, combined with ageing infrastructure in need of maintenance or replacement, means we are faced with higher costs which are simply unavoidable. The work needs to be done and cannot be ignored, but this adds another 5.4% to rates.”

Much of the rest of the proposed rates increase is to cover the rising costs of insurance, inflation, depreciation and fuel, much of which is beyond Council’s control, Mr Radich says.

“We know this doesn’t make the proposed rates increase easier for people, but we are working hard to find savings and efficiencies where we can and put our city’s finances on a more sustainable path.”

In the meantime, people can choose to pay rates in smaller amounts, including a weekly or fortnightly direct debit payment, which may help make payments more manageable, Mr Radich says.

More information: dunedin.govt.nz/2024AP

 

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