The Stratford District Council has released its Long Term Plan and asked for the community’s feedback on it. (File photo)
How Stratford residents pay for their water use, where they put their food scraps and green waste, and who should fund making the town centre a more vibrant place are topics up for discussion in the district.
As the proposed 2021-2031 Long Term Plan (LTP) plan stands, ratepayers are looking at an overall rates increase of 4.25 per cent for the 2021/22 financial year, with an average rates increase of 4.69 per cent for the next 10 years.
The Stratford District Council (SDC) has highlighted four key topics, and asked whether the community agrees with them: water conservation, waste minimisation, an economic development targeted rate and a residential subdivision.
* Taranaki’s small town affordable housing bonanza
* Forgotten World Highway repairs to to begin next week – after six-year wait
* Concerns over NP’s ‘cost saving’ water meter proposal
* Region’s lowest rates rises forecast for South Taranaki
Council is in favour of introducing water meters, so residents would pay for only as much as they use, as opposed to a flat rate.
“In our view, this is unfair to low users and provides no incentive to reduce demand for high users,” the document reads.
It would cost $2.49 million to introduce the water meters over three years.
Should the community choose to have water meters installed, council has estimated homes with one to two people would pay $544 a year, homes with 3-4 people would pay $753, and more than four people would pay around $961.
If the community chooses to stay with the status quo, council said water supply is forecast to cost $740 a year for every property.
Another key issue is waste, as Stratford sends 580 kilograms per household to landfill each year – more than both New Plymouth and South Taranaki.
Council is suggesting introducing green and food waste bin, as this makes up around 40 per cent of the weight of what is being sent to landfill.
“The success of this approach will depend on the community’s willingness to use the system and use it correctly.”
It is expected to cost council $300,000 to introduce green and food waste bins, and will see an increase in the solid waste targeted rate over the next 10 years from $332 to $509.
If the community chooses to stick with their current bins, their rate will still rise, but to $405 over the same period.
Council is also suggesting introducing an economic development rate targeted at local businesses, cutting costs for all rate payers, to invest in the overall look and feel of the Stratford town centre.
Should the community support the idea, council would collect an additional $1.9m over the next 10 years to fund economic development activities.
Council is also suggesting creating another subdivision, at a cost of $3.27m.
However, this cost will be off-set by future section sales.
The council is hosting three public meetings – one in Whangamomona Hall on April 13 at 3pm, one at the War Memorial Centre at 7pm on April 22, and one at the Whakaahurangi Marae at 7pm on April 27, for any residents who want to know more.
The 2021-2031 Long Term Plan (LTP) is out for public consultation, and the council is seeking submissions by May 2.