Big rise in rates and allowances

The meeting also approved an increase in annual meeting attendance fees to $29,500 for the mayor and $22,000 for councillors, following changes to the Local Government Act that came into effect on July 1.

The mayor will also receive an additional $60,000 allowance and the deputy mayor an extra $15,000 under the new rules. Councillors will receive a $3500 information communication technology allowance.

The minimum rate payment will be $933 and ratepayers who elect to pay their rates and service charges in instalments will be charged a 5.5 per cent interest rate. All seven councillors voted in favour of the motions, including amendments resulting in a reduction to $150,000 for the community art reserve fund transfer plus a transfer increase of $160,800 for the underground power reserve fund.

Council will also establish a future projects reserve to help fund new, and upgrade, capital projects from the proceeds of land asset sales. Michele Nugent