Balanced approach to Council’s draft budget
The need to get the balance right through these tough economic times whilst minimising the impact on the community is the focus of Western Bay’s draft Annual Plan 2023/24.
Out for feedback until Sunday 30 April, Western Bay of Plenty District Council is keen to hear from the community on its approach to manage its finances.
In its draft budget, Council is proposing an average rate increase of 7.41 percent.
Western Bay Mayor James Denyer says the economic environment has changed since the 2021-31 Long Term Plan was adopted.
“We haven’t made this decision lightly given today’s economic climate and pressures facing our communities.
We know things are tough for everyone right now. But we want to be a Council that makes the right decisions and is committed to taking this District forward while balancing the needs of our people”.
One of the ways Council suggests keeping the rate increase as low as possible is through the use of its General Rate Reserve.
This reserve is Council’s ‘rainy day fund’. It’s a fund, currently sitting at $5.1 million, that has accumulated through surpluses over previous years, by working hard to deliver for our community without overspending.
Using $1.6 million of this reserve would allow Council to strike the rate increase at 7.41 percent. Without using a portion of the General Rate Reserve, the average rate increase would be 9.07 percent.
“We are working hard to support our District, while ensuring we can continue to do the mahi that matters to our community. This means delivering on some projects that will not only keep up with improving our infrastructure but increase wellbeing and pride for our place given the community have communicated a clear desire for these projects through past kōrero,” explains Mayor Denyer.
The draft Annual Plan 2023/24 will see Council continuing to invest in our communities, with projects including:
- Improving pool access in Katikati
- Reserve Management Plan projects
- Te Puke Wastewater Treatment Plant
- Response to Drinking water regulation changes
- Te Puke-Maketu Reserve Management Plan
- Wilson Park, Waihī Beach
- Waihī Beach Library and Community Hub
“We’re proposing to do the projects now as they won’t have an impact on the average rates increase due to how they are funded, however they will have a longer-term impact if we don’t do the mahi now," says Mayor James.
You can share your views on the draft Annual Plan in one of the following ways:
- Go online to haveyoursay.westernbay.govt.nz/annualplan
- Post your feedback to Annual Plan 2023/24, Western Bay of Plenty District Council, Private Bag 12803, Tauranga Mail Centre, Tauranga 3143.
- Alternatively drop your feedback off at any of our Library and Service Centres in Waihī Beach, Katikati, Ōmokoroa, Te Puke or to the main Council Office at Barkes Corner.
- Email your feedback to firstname.lastname@example.org or to register to speak to us at the Council Hearing on 4 May.
Or come kōrero in person at one of our community information drop-in sessions:
- Monday 17 April, 9am-11am - The Daily Café, 3 Commerce Lane, Te Puke
- Wednesday 19 April, 9am-11am - Clarke Road Kitchen, 7 Clarke Road, Te Puna
- Friday 21 April, 9am-11am - Flatwhite Café, 21 Shaw Road, Waihī Beach
Feedback closes 5pm, Sunday 30 April.