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Long Term Plan document open for submission
March 11th, 2015
[by David Armstrong]
Tasman District Council's consultation document for its Long Term Plan for the 2015 - 2025 period is now available for scrutiny and submissions.
Regular submitters to Annual and Long Term plans will be a little perplexed by the new format, brought in by a new central government act which requires the initial document to be a more general setting out of Council's strategic thinking rather than a detailed plan with lists of actual projects and timelines.
It is this document which is meant to guide Council when it draws up the detailed 10-year plan which will be confirmed by the end of June.
For some people, this will cause frustration. First, the document is full of strategic, goal-oriented statements and options which many find difficult to read or simply boring. Second, it's hard to know what to submit on for hearings when you don't know the detail of what might happen.
For others, this approach makes considerable sense. Council has set out its proposed priorities around future debt levels and rates rises, and emphasises repeatedly its main role in maintaining services around infrastructure, particular water, wastewater and hazard/disaster planning.
"The focus is on investing in improvements to infrastructure that protect levels of service," the document states.
In this writer's opinion, all very worthy but ..... quite uninspiring. Council is making it quite clear that it is no longer in the business of promoting community wellbeing outside these infrastructural issues (or at least providing much money for community facilities.
The document, and ways to make your submissions about it, can be accessed and downloaded from this page. Submissions close at 4.00pm on April 20th and there will be two public information meetings in Motueka's Memorial Hall on Tuesday, March 24th, at 4.00pm and 7.00pm.
Much of the Consultation Document offers assessments on the effects (mainly on rates, debt and levels of service) of following certain financial strategies, along with TDC's preferred options.
In summary, if Council's proposed strategy is accepted, "projected net debt will be reduced from $172m in 2014/2015 to $109m in 2024/2025. This will be done by limiting spending on new assets, reducing expenditure on renewing assets because of better information and management practices, and changing how the wearing out of assets (i.e. depreciation) is funded."
Increases to rates income for each of the 10 years will not exceed 3% per annum (plus an allowance for growth). This figure includes inflation and targeted rates.
Apart from detailed discussion on the options around the Waimea Community Dam, the only hints of the LTP project details that Council has in mind are contained in a Question & Answer section, just over half way through the document.
The main items in that list that directly affect Motueka are:
- The Council does not intend to reticulate the whole of Motueka township until 2043/44. This project has been deferred because the costs are considered too high, no Government subsidy is available, and there is little community support for the project in the short term.
- Council is proposing to increase the required community contributions (i.e. fundraising) to a minimum of one-third of the total project costs for community facilities such as new halls or significant recreation facilities. This is an increase from the current 20% contribution.
Where a community is prepared to fund two-thirds or more of the cost of a new project that is not in Council's Long Term Plan, the Council will consider the affordability of contributing the remaining costs and viability of the project.
- The Coastal Tasman water pipeline project has been deferred to year 2043/44. No funds have been allocated to this project in the Long Term Plan 2015-2025.
- The Council proposes to allocate $2.095 million in 2020/2021 for design and construction costs for the Motueka Library. The funds will be used to provide an extension to the existing facility or a new library and service centre hub if additional funding can be sourced externally.
- Changes to amounts and channels to fund Nelson Tasman Tourism and the Economic Development Agency will mean that there will be a reduction of $218,670 provided for the two organisations in 2014/2015. Motueka i-SITE will be funded for one further financial year only. Council recognises that the withdrawal of this will reduce their service level.
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