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Carterton District Council has finalised its 2020/21 Annual Plan and will now begin having community conversations about what the future of Carterton will look like.

The 2020/21 Annual Plan, which was finalised at today’s Ordinary Council Meeting, was amended from the original draft considered prior to the country’s COVID lockdown to acknowledge the effect COVID-19 is having on the local economy. The finalised plan focusses on finishing the existing projects (such as our Waste Water Treatment Plant upgrade) and contains no new projects in the 2020/21 year.

The final version forecasts a slight deficit due to reductions in revenue and the desire by the elected members to keep rates increases as close as possible to the 1.2 per cent increase outlined in Year 3 of the 2018-2028 Ten-Year Plan. This deficit will be paid for by the council’s general reserves, which is from prior year surpluses.  The average rates increase is now 1.72 per cent. Using reserves will minimise the effect on rates rises in future years.

“We’re confident that the plan will enable us to continue to deliver a high level and cost-effective service our residents are used to, while taking into account the financial hardship many will be feeling post-lockdown,” said Chief Executive Jane Davis.

The councillors are now getting ready to begin a series of community conversations about what post-COVID life looks like to help with the development of a regional recovery plan, as well as looking ahead to Carterton’s future to find out the things the district really needs to continue to thrive.

Councillors will be getting out and about to engage in both informal conversations as well as planned public events to ask Carterton residents for their ideas on what the district’s long-term priorities and needs are. This will also help the council shape its draft 2021-2031 Long-Term Plan ahead of consultation next year.

“We’re excited to continue working with our community as we develop a recovery plan and work towards our long-term goals,” said Mayor Greg Lang.

“We’ve been actively communicating with residents over the past few months and have already heard some great suggestions. These conversations will give us more opportunity to hear what our residents think the district needs in the coming years so we can continue to be a resilient and thriving district.”