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Manukau City Council Adopts Draft Annual Plan

MEDIA RELEASE
Wednesday 4 April 2001


Manukau City Council Adopts Draft Annual Plan


Manukau City Council has adopted its draft annual plan for the 2001 – 2002 financial year.

The draft plan is available from April 17 and will be open for public submissions until May 17.

It includes a proposed rates increase of 2.7 per cent. City Manager Colin Dale said it is pleasing to be able to keep the rates increase low without cuts to services, yet to have major projects going ahead.

“The rates increase is needed to meet rising costs of providing services but it’s below the rate of inflation.

“The Council does, however, still intend to proceed with a $65 million asset development programme to improve roading, water and wastewater services, parks development and city services.

“We’ve managed to strike a good balance and we are in a strong financial position. We are continuing with building new assets that will improve the range of facilities for ratepayers and citizens to enjoy, while keeping our operating costs down.

….cont
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“We are constantly looking for ways to cut operating costs and streamline services, and are succeeding in many areas. For example, the Council’s cut its power bill by nearly half a million dollars over the past financial year, and will make more savings this year.”

The draft plan includes provision for a new library at Botany to service the growing population of the area, which is due to open in 2004/5.The new Clover Park library is already under construction and will open in August.

The Council has decided to continue its policy of free entry to swimming pools. “Swimming pools are an important community facility and the decision to keep them free will, I am sure, be appreciated by families in particular,” Mr Dale said.

Design work for the upgrade of Lloyd Elsmore pool is to start next year. The new Mangere indoor pool is under construction and will open in September. Next year the Council will also do a feasibility study on a swimming pool for the Manurewa ward.

Colin Dale said “The Council is making solid progress on major projects including transport links. Planning for the new road linking the Waiouru peninsular with Otahuhu, and for the new Wiri rail link, are well advanced. And the Half Moon Bay ferry service is about to be enhanced with the building of a new jetty.

“It is pleasing that a number of projects will actually be finished ahead of time.

“Our shareholding in Auckland Airport has gone up in value and is continuing to pay substantial dividends. This asset is giving ratepayers a very good return on their investment. The Council is continuing to repay debt, and the value of the Airport shares is higher than the debt.

“Recycling of household waste began earlier this week and is meeting with good community support. Our next step is to introduce recycling of organic waste.
…cont
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Recycling helps the environment and provides income for the Council to spend on other services.

“In addition, the Council has begun what many residents see as its core business – a balanced programme to renew and expand its roading, water, stormwater and drainage networks, and maintain and upgrade Council facilities.

“All in all, we are making very positive progress, as is the City as a whole. Manukau is the envy of many other cities because of our healthy economy. We had the highest growth rate in the country over the past year, at 7.8 per cent. That’s double the national average.

“The Council now looks forward to receiving submissions and comments on the draft plan from the public,” he said.


ENDS


For further comment, contact Len Brown, Chairman of the Annual Plan Committee of Manukau City Council 09 2744451

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