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TDC's Draft Annual Plan process begins
February 20th, 2014
[Based on TDC press release]
Motueka Library: will its
redevelopment be scrapped?
This year's Annual Plan process has begun in Tasman following the Council making decisions on projects and activities to be included in the draft Annual Plan for the 2014/15 year.
The decisions are the product of a number of workshops and discussions held between councillors and staff since December last year.
Over this time Councillors have considered a number of changes to former plans with the aim of setting the strategic direction for the future. The changes identified so far have enabled the Council to move forward on a program of less capital and operational spending and reduced borrowing.
These changes are likely to affect Motueka significantly. Three major development items that had been in the plan - the Motueka Library, the river stopbank refurbishment and the undergrounding of High Street power lines - have been up for consideration and at least one and probably all three will be dropped altogether if the draft is accepted.
Controversy over these and other decisions is likely to prompt one or more public consultation meetings before the Annual Plan is finalised.
A total increase in rates revenue of approximately 2.5% after growth is forecast as a result of the decisions, and the proposed rates changes for all properties will be made available online in mid-March. The proposed increase is to be used to reduce borrowing.
A positive note is if it were not for the desire to use savings to reduce debt little or no additional rates income would have been required next year.
"The Council has taken up the challenge from ratepayers to reduce the previously proposed levels of debt and rates increases," said Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne. "The budget that is being presented enables a small but significant step to be taken towards that objective.
"Because 2014/2015 is an Annual Plan year the Council is limited in its ability to make wholesale changes. The more significant changes will have to wait until next year when the Long Term Plan is due.
"The Long Term Plan process will enable Council and the community to fully consider options and make choices and set priorities."
The next step, following the Council's decisions, is for the Council staff to prepare the draft Annual Plan 2014/2015. This will include funding impact statements, balance sheet and supporting information. At that point the proposed rate changes and debt level will be confirmed.
The draft Annual Plan 2014/2015 is to be adopted in three weeks, on 15th March, and will then be sent out for consultation.
Comment by Jim Butler:
[Posted 23 February 2014]
No mention of earthquake strengthening of the Memorial Hall, the Recreation Centre and the Museum in the above which is rather worrying. Let's hope there is something about these in the Draft Annual Plan.
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