Time for public to comment on roading investmentCouncil is seeking public feedback on whether investment in Waitaki’s roads should increase, remain the same or decrease. It comes at a critical time when increasing demand is being placed on Waitaki’s roading network, especially rural roads, and Roading Manager Michael Voss is encouraging people to have a say. Mr Voss says, “We will be presenting a business case to our co-investors, NZTA, and we believe we have a good case for asking them to increase their level of funding.  However, to do this we must also invest.  For every $1 spent we will need to contribute 45 cents to NZTA’s 55 cents, so if their investment increases so does ours and that is a significant ask of our ratepayers.” The level of funding assistance Council receives from government has gradually declined over the last five years, however costs have increased, along with traffic on roads. “We believe we’ve had good value for the amount of investment we’ve made in our roads, but it is not sustainable to keep up with growth.” Council is proposing to spend an additional $2.9 million on roads over the three years from 2018 to 2021 to make improvements; which is equivalent to $1.305 million from rates. “Every additional $300,000 Council spends on services and infrastructure equates to a 1% increase on rates overall.  Taking into account the government’s contribution, this investment would equate to an across-the-board rate increase of around 4.35% over three years (or around 1.5% for each year).” Consultation has opened and people have until Friday 7 July to have their say.  All information can be found at www.waitaki.govt.nz.

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