Hutt City Council last night adopted its 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, which strikes a careful balance of investing in rejuvenation of the city, while providing efficient core services and well-maintained infrastructure, and keeping rates low for residents.
The average rates increase for Lower Hutt this year is 1.5% for existing ratepayers, with Council receiving a further 1% rates revenue from growth due to new builds and property investment. This equates to a rates revenue increase of 2.5% overall.
Lower Hutt Mayor Ray Wallace said he was incredibly proud of the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, and thanked the community for their input.
“Input from the community is crucial to getting this right. We received a lot of feedback on our plan and we have taken that on board in our decision-making.”
“Our focus for the next ten years is to maintain the momentum of investing in things that will make Lower Hutt an outstanding city, while keeping rates increases affordable for our community.”
“Over the next ten years, we’ll be working hard to make sure that every dollar we receive from our ratepayers is spent responsibly,” said Mayor Wallace.
The full 2018-2028 Long Term Plan will be published on the Hutt City Council website in July.
Key items in the plan include:
- All Council staff being paid no less than $20.55 per hour, the current Living Wage rate, from 1 July 2018
- Construction of community hubs in Naenae and other parts of the city, similar to those already built in Taita and Stokes Valley
- Continued commitment to the Riverlink Project, which will see the CBD re-positioned to face Te Awakairangi/the Hutt River and the creation of a river-front promenade featuring cafes, shops and apartments
- An additional $3.6m to be spent over the next ten years to improve reserves and playgrounds including improvements for Naenae Park, Naenae community hub (landscaping), upgrading the Avalon Park toilets and for general park and playground maintenance, with $1.15m of this to be spent in 2018/19
- $105,000 in 2018/19 for the development of a strategy to tackle homelessness in Lower Hutt
- $200,000 to work with other councils in the region to map and identify places, communities and assets threatened by sea level rise, to develop response options and to begin engagement with Lower Hutt communities on the threat of climate change
- $104,200 in 2018/19 to upgrade the city’s existing 150 parking metres to ‘pay by plate’ technology, which will eliminate the current paper ticketing. This upfront cost will be offset by savings of $30,600 per annum.
- Bringing forward $2m of existing budget for a facility for Hutt Valley GymSports at Fraser Park from 2023/24 to 2019/20
- Council is working with consultants on solutions that would see the existing Petone Wharf have another 15 years of life with an additional commitment of $8m for refurbishment of Petone Wharf in 2033-34.
- Three rating policies have been changed - the Hutt City Development Contribution and Rates Remission Policy, which has been successful in stimulating development activity in the city, will finish at the end of 2018; eligible sports and community groups will have their general rates reduced by 50%; and from 1 July 2018, eligible residential ratepayers aged 65 years and over, will have an option to postpone the payment of their rates, subject to conditions and criteria.