Adoption of Annual Plan, revision of fees and charges
and setting of rates for the 2020-2021 financial year.

The Mayor and Councillors today adopted Council's Annual Plan and set the rates for the 2020/2021 financial year.

To help the District recover from the impact of COVID-19, Councillors have (through a combination of use of reserves, bringing forward planned borrowing and other one-off measures) reduced the planned rate increase for the 2020/2021 financial year from 8% to 4.48% - while bringing forward a number of 'shovel-ready' projects from the Long Term Plan which will help create jobs in the District.

A $200,000 Recovery Stimulus find will help support local projects and activities that will stimulate the local economy and promote community well-being.

Fees and charges for the coming year were adopted on 23rd June and with a few exceptions increases have been frozen to assist the recovery effort.

Mayor Graham Smith said 'Despite the impact of COVID-19, we remain confident that we will continue a strong level of service, made possible by smart financial management and sound investments from our past. One-off investment returns and reprioritisation have allowed us to reduce projected rates increase from 8% to 4.48% in a response to extraordinary circumstances'.

Chief Executive Officer, Suzette van Aswegen said 'This Annual Plan outlines some of our highlights and aims for the 2020/21 year. We are pleased to confirm that we will continue to invest in our community and township services with a number of exciting projects planned within our communities including a dog park in Fairlie, upgrades to our community centres in Twizel and Fairlie, improving accessibility to the eastern side of Twizel's Market Place and progressing parts of the Tekapo Development Plan including the redevelopment of the Barbara Hay Reserve and the reserve on D'Archiac Drive.

We continue core infrastructure projects highlighted in our LTP, while bringing forward shovel-ready projects as part of our COVID-19 recovery including $10.66m of water supply projects with $10.0m of this work being debt-funded. We will complete the Fairlie Water Treatment Plant which commenced in 2019/20 and the associated reservoir, replace water pipes in Twizel and Fairlie and upgrade the Burkes Pass water supply treatment plant. In roading, we have prioritised key shovel ready minor and safety improvement projects, maximising our available NZTA co-funding and low interest rates for Council's 49% share. We are planning several key projects totaling $1.45m with our share being $708,100. The majority of these projects will be footpaths and shared-use paths to promote a fit and healthy community'.

The full Annual Plan can be downloaded here.

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