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Masterton Mayor Lyn Patterson has acknowledged the work of councillors, and the range of differing views, as Masterton District Council today adopted its Long-Term Plan (LTP) 2021-31 and finalised rates for the 2021/22 year.

The motion to adopt the LTP was passed 6-5, and confirmed deliberation decisions to build a new civic facility with at least $4 million of external funding, defer the start of the Masterton revamp for three years, and provide land for someone else to build pensioner housing.

Subject to the successful negotiation of purchase of the preferred site for the new civic facility, the Council also voted to request staff to investigate future options, such as sale or lease, for the municipal building (including the old town hall), which must include an option to retain the façade.

The Mayor said the adoption of the LTP was a significant milestone. “As a Council, we have an important leadership role to play in planning for the District’s future, and the Long-Term Plan is the key document in that process.

“We have had some good debate on the issues and what is important for our community, and differing views have been expressed. But now is the time to move forward and implement plans that will shape our district, not just for the next 10 years but for future generations.”

The average rise in urban residential rates is 4.8 per cent for 2021/22. The average rise in rural rates is 8.1 per cent. These increases reflect the additional ratepayer funding needed for Council to deliver services in our community. For individual properties, the increase will vary depending on the result of the revaluations produced by Quotable Value (QV) earlier this year. The Council uses property valuations as the basis for how rates are divided across all properties. Changes to those valuations can result a property’s share of the rates change reducing or increasing. In the Masterton urban area, the revaluation resulted in an average increase of 43 per cent in capital values. If a property’s valuation increased by 43 per cent (the average), then the rates increase will be 4.8 per cent. If a property’s valuation increased by less than 43 per cent, then the rates increase will be less than 4.8 per cent. If the valuation increased by more than 43 per cent, then the rates increase will be greater than 4.8 per cent. The same will apply to rural properties, except the average capital value increase is 37 per cent and variations around this number will produce variations to the 8.1 per cent average.

Property owners can check their rates on the Masterton District Council website.

Today’s meeting confirmed the decisions made at the Council’s deliberations meeting on 2 June. These include key decisions:

  • Funding the new civic facility, which includes the library and archives, with a minimum of $4 million external funding and loan funding the difference of up to $26.8 million. Construction will start in 2022/23. Other ways of off‐setting the cost of the civic facility will be investigated, including the possibility of selling existing Council-owned buildings.
  • Proceeding with Council’s preferred option of a full Masterton revamp of the CBD and town entrances over 10 years but deferring the start of this project by three years. The Revamp will now commence in Year 4 of the LTP (2024/25). In the meantime, the Council has allowed $915,000 over Years 1‐3 for landscape work at the northern entrance and the Kuripuni roundabout and further developing plans for the town’s public spaces. The Council will continue to maintain town centre pavements.
  • Proceeding with Council’s alternative option of making the vacant land at Panama available for someone else to build public housing on. We will work with the Government (via Kāinga Ora), community housing providers, and iwi to ascertain the most appropriate arrangement for a provider, or providers, to fund and build the public housing. We will seek external funding for infrastructure, such as stormwater, that is required on the site.