Submitters request extra $3.4 million in Long Term Plan

Submitters request extra $3.4 million in Long Term Plan

Wednesday, May 23, 2012

South Taranaki District Councillors spent around 8 and a half hours listening to verbal submissions to the Council’s proposed 2012-2022 Long term Plan on Monday.

41 people took the opportunity to speak to the Councillors about their submissions.

Of the 800 submissions made a large number were requests for additional funding, totalling some $945,000 in the next financial year and more than $3.4million over the 10 year life of the Plan.

Some notable requests included:

The Rotokare Scenic Reserve Trust, who had around 500 supporting submissions, asked the Council for an annual $60,000 grant each year for the next ten years to help cover the Trust’s annual operating costs.

Everybody’s Theatre in Opunake asked the Council with help to raise the funds needed to upgrade and strengthen the building. Structural strengthening is estimated to cost $197,000 and an additional $25,000 is needed to rebuild the toilets. Further internal refurbishment of the building could cost another $100,000 - $150,000.

The Egmont Plains Community Board included in their submission a request clean and maintain Opunake lake and walkway for approximately $240,000.

The South Taranaki District Museum Trust has asked for $200,000 for stage two of their plans to redevelop the museum, Aotea Utanganui.

The MATES Men’s Network has asked the STDC, along with the three other Taranaki Council’s for approximately $35,000 per annum towards the cost of running its project to prevent male suicide (which is $302,000 per annum).

Hawera will be one of the first places in NZ to have an ultra fast broadband network  and  local fibre company, Ultra Fast Fibre Ltd, want the Council to fund a dedicated resource ($150,000 - $200,000) over the next three years to maximise the opportunities ultra fast broadband  will bring to South Taranaki.

Other funding requests were made by the Opunake Sport and Recreation Trust (Sanfords Event Centre - who want their annual funding increased from $20,000 to $45,000), the Opunake Community Baths Society who have asked for a one off $40,000 grant for roof repairs, the South Taranaki Art Gallery (who want their annual funding increased from $7,500 to $12,000), South Taranaki Citizen’s Advice Bureau (who want their annual funding increased from $3,000 to $6,000), Ngati Ruanui who want to increase the Tangata Whenua Liaison Fund from $50,000 per annum to $100,000 and the Taranaki Rescue Helicopter Trust who made a request for an unspecified amount.

South Taranaki Mayor, Ross Dunlop says managing the expectations of the individuals and organisations who submit for extra funding is a big challenge. “On the one hand submitters say they don’t want rate increases but on the other hand they want Council to do or fund something which requires extra money,” says Mr Dunlop. “While they are all very worthwhile organisations our challenge is how we provide the services and facilities our communities expect while keeping rate increases at an affordable level,” he says.

The Coastal Taranaki Health Trust is also planning to build a ($2 million approx) general health and medical centre (known as ‘Coastal Care’) in Opunake to service the coastal area. The new facility is intended to provide a centralised location for a range of health providers including GP’s, a pharmacist, allied social and healthcare services and TDHB community support services. The Trust asked the Council if it would provide it with ownership of the Council owned land on the corner of Napier and King Streets and to help the Trust create one title (currently the area covers 3 separate titles). The Trust is also asking the Council if it would incorporate the new public toilets it is going to build into the new Coastal Care facility and re locate the campervan toilet dump station to a more suitable site closer to the Transfer Station. The Trust also indicated that it might ask the Council for a commercial loan to build the facility in the event of a funding shortfall.

The Council will meet on 30 May to deliberate on all submissions and funding requests that it received as part of the Long Term Plan consultation and then adopt the final Plan by 30 June.