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Council targets low rates in Annual Plan

June 6th, 2014
[TDC press release]

The focus on reducing the reliance on debt and lessening the impact of growth and provision of essential services on ratepayers was evident when Tasman District councillors concluded their Annual Plan decision-making yesterday.

After reviewing nearly 600 submissions to the Draft Annual Plan released for consultation in March councillors made a number of key decisions informed by resident wishes and concerns and staff advice.

The final decisions saw the Council to deliver an average general rates increase of 1.73% and, with targeted rates included, an total average increase of 3.09%.

Within the Council's decisions was support for the Golden Bay Community Recreation Facility, the conditional support for the continuing construction of Tasman's Great Taste Trail, and the decision to review the means of providing destination marketing.

On the other side of the ledger were the decisions to defer the redevelopment of the Golden Bay Service Centre in Takaka and the development of the Motueka library.

The continued provision of funding to Nelson Tasman Tourism (NTT) is secure for the next year, but the onus is now on the local industry, the Council and their regional partners to come together and identify the options for a revised business model for tourism.

Submitters provided a variety of views with a number supporting destination marketing, others supporting local marketing through I-sites and others supporting no contribution at all.

As a key industry for the region the Council has agreed to work with NTT, NCC and the EDA to identify a viable future which in this context could be quite different to how it is currently delivered.

The ongoing construction, and support from the Council, of Tasman's Great Taste Trail is conditional on the delivery of continued funding from the Government. The Council has agreed to cover 50% of the $600,000 proposed cost on the basis the matching funding is secured from the Government's recently announced funding round or a third party. The proposal sees the construction of the leg from Wakefield to Spooner's tunnel.

The Final Annual Plan will be adopted by the Council on 30 June taking into account the decisions made yesterday.

Editor's note: For Motueka, this appears to mean that the development of a new library is either scrapped until it can be argued again in some future Annual Plan, or destined to be included into the Council's Long Term Plan, the next three years of which will be reviewed later this year.


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