Public Submissions bring changes to Annual Plan

Public Submissions bring changes to Annual Plan

Thursday, May 29, 2014

In response to public submissions, South Taranaki District Councillors have made a number of changes to their proposed 2014-15 Annual Plan, including $141,000 of new funding.
After a month-long period of consultation, Councillors met on Monday (26 May) to consider the 98 submissions received.
Opunake was the main recipient of the additional funding requests with $30,000 being granted for Opunake Beach projects, $29,333 for a new kitchen area at Everybody’s Theatre, $47,000 for roofing at Opunake Community Baths and $25,000* allocated to extend the public stormwater system in Napier St, Opunake, to provide for run off from the soon to be built Coastal Care Health facility (*this will be funded from within the existing stormwater budget). In addition, an extra $25,000 was allocated for storage to the Hawera Memorial Theatre, $5,000 to the Patea Old Folks Association and $5,000 for seating at Memorial Park in Patea.
The additional funding that arose out of public consultation means the total rate take increase for 2014-15 would go from 3.52% to 3.85%, which is still less than the 5.39% projected in the Long Term Plan.
The increase will impact on different properties in different ways, however total rates will increase by about 3.5% for urban residential properties and 1.8% for rural properties.
For the average urban property that represents an increase of around $1.54 a week.
One issue Councillors decided they would like to review is the issue of mowing berms.
Current Council Policy stipulates that urban berms not mown by residents are mown by Council contractors nine times a year. However, several submitters claimed that in towns with very large berms such as Manaia this was not enough and was making the town look scruffy. As a result, Councillors have agreed to review the existing Berm Policy and Council staff will bring a report outlining options and costs to Policy Development sometime before the end of the year.
The 2014-15 Annual Plan will formally be adopted by Council on 9 June.