25 May 2024

Council seeks feedback to help shape Hamilton’s long-term future

Hamilton City Council wants to hear from residents about what’s being proposed for Hamilton’s future, and shape how the Council runs the city.

Public consultation on Council’s proposed changes to long term plan which sets out the projects, budgets and financial strategy for the next 10 years, has opened today(19 March) and residents can have their say.

Council adopted its 2024-34 Long-Term Plan Consultation Document last week, which sets out the financial challenges the city is facing, the level of rates increases needed to keep Hamilton running, and how residents can provide their feedback.  

“I strongly encourage the community and our key stakeholders to share their views about what’s proposed,” says Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate.

Chief Executive Lance Vervoort says it’s time for serious conversations, not kneejerk reactions. 

“It’s easy to make claims about wasteful spending, pet projects, or unnecessary costs,” said Vervoort. “But that’s not very helpful …We need Hamiltonians to be specific about what they want Council to do less, or more, of. What do you love, or not, about the services we provide?”

“Finding the right balance between affordability and sustaining our growth is crucial for the prosperity of our city,” Mayor Southgate said.  

Council is seeking feedback on its financial approach, any community services or back-office functions that could be cut to achieve savings, the walking and cycling bridge in the central city, targeted rates for additional services and a change to how swimming pool owners pay for safety inspections. 

Every three years, the Council develops the Long-Term Plan which sets out the projects, budget and financial strategy for the next decade.

Council’s draft Development Contributions (DC) Policy sets out how the city shares the costs of growth between ratepayers and developers to enable new development and growth in the city. There are seven proposed changes in the revised DC Policy. 

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According to Mayor Southgate, the city has experienced significant growth over the past decade and this is projected to continue. Meanwhile, the cost of delivering growth infrastructure has been impacted by factors outside of Council’s control, making it more expensive to provide and fund infrastructure.  

There is a proposed 19.9% increase ($11 a week for a median-value residential property) for Hamilton ratepayers next year, followed by four years of 15.5% increases.

Alongside the revised DC Policy, Council is seeking feedback on changes to its Growth Funding Policy. This policy directs Council’s decision-making for growth projects and associated infrastructure where those projects are not aligned with Council’s Long-Term Plan. 

Residents have until 21 April to voice their opinion before the Council locks in the final 2024-34 Long Term Plan.

Click here to know more about Council’s plans for the future Hamilton and to voice your opinion.

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