Mayor Sets Scene for Long-Term Plan Deliberations

Written by on March 10, 2024

By John Freer

Five key points have been included in the promotional sheet which encourages residents and ratepayers of the Thames Coromandel District, to have their say on the 10-year long-term plan.

The obvious one is managing rates, followed by investing more in future planning, investing in connected communities, increasing fees and charges to keep rates manageable, and the future of the Thames council building.

All of these do link into the subsequent financial obligations on the Council and the various aspects of this being rates, fees, charges, assumptions around external funding and debt.

With rates, the recommended option being put forward by councillors, is a 12.9 percent increase in year one, followed by 7.2 percent in year two and then 8.1 percent for year three. If all the assumptions are correct and the world keeps spinning at its current rate, in year 10 the rates will only increase 1.7 percent.

For the record, the 12.9 percent is the average, so based on the new property valuations, some ratepayers will enjoy under the recommended option while for others the percentage will increase.

In an interview with Mayor Len Salt, this being his council’s first long-term plan, the mayor said one of the many challenges was getting the right balance between core activities, and what communities and residents want to enhance their living environment.

The mayor said that council had a responsibility to focus on core business and it was a priority.

The plan is wide-ranging, it does have a lot of storm impacts included – not just about roads but also what it meant for the various communities and the individuals within those communities.

Provision of housing including spatial planning for the wider region, handling a district that has 400 kilometres of coast along with variable terrain and remote areas, coastal protection, and potential ways of funding projects.

Mayor Len believes it is a plan that provides an umbrella that provides communities with the ability to achieve what they require.

Some may ask why the council building is on the list – surely there has been provision made along the way for its and any other council building replacement?

Open the link below to hear our interview with Mayor Len Salt.


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