Council will have difficult Annual Plan for 2010/11 - 12/02/2010Mayor Michael Laws today said that the district council is about to begin considering its draft Annual Plan for 2010/11, “and every indication is that we will be making difficult decisions and trade-offs between competing policies and projects”.
“We have had our finances savaged by two unforeseen events over the past six months. First, the decision of government to withdraw roading subsidies. Second, the need to support Wanganui Gas with direct cash injections.
“The impact of the government roading withdrawal is $6 million over three years, and the Wanganui Gas impost will also hit seven figures. The exact sum is yet to be determined and will be finalised soon.”
Mayor Laws said that Wanganui Gas had faced “the perfect storm of adverse trading conditions – an outdated gas contract, increased competition and a recession. Rather than contributing a dividend to council coffers, the cash will need to flow the other way for the next 12 months”.
Mayor Laws said that it was still his personal goal to keep rates at around the level of inflation.
“We are not a rich community and we’re slowly coming out of a recession. Our debt is at manageable levels and no worse than most councils. Better still it trends down markedly once the wastewater separation project is complete in 2012.”