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Consultation begins on draft Annual Plan 2014 - 2015

Consultation begins on draft Annual Plan 2014 - 2015

Do you have an opinion on waste water, recycling or cycle ways? What about placemaking, school road crossings, Broadway or social housing? The draft Annual Plan 2014 - 15 has been approved for consultation and now is your chance to have your say.

Palmerston North Mayor Jono Naylor says in the past few months citizens have come to Council meetings asking Council to chop down the trees in Broadway Avenue, keep beggars out of the CBD, and keep legal highs out of the City. They have asked us to enlarge the gym space at the Lido, and help build a new community centre at Bunnythorpe. Two groups have come and talked with us about fluoridation – one wants us to take it out, the other to keep it in.

“We’re aware that residents want Council to do its part to help clean up the Manawatū River. To help do this Council resolved, as part of its response to Horizon’s Notice of Consent Review for its wastewater discharge, that a $2.9m disk filtration system be installed. The filter will lower the amount of phosphorus being discharged, which will help reduce algae growth in the river. We’re closing the smaller wastewater treatment plants in Ashhurst and Longburn because we can treat waste water to a higher standard at the main treatment plant, thus improving the health of the River.”

Mayor Naylor says it’s good that residents have expectations of Council. It shows that people have confidence in local democracy, and that is what Council is all about.

“We now want to hear what ratepayers and residents think about the draft Annual Plan: Whether you think we’re on the right track or if you think we’ve missed something out. Councillors will then consider the submissions and then make changes to the Plan before it’s adopted later this year”.

“However,” Jono says, “It’s important to remember that Council cannot respond positively to every expectation as ratepayers simply cannot afford everything and it leads to ad-hoc decision making.”

Councils in New Zealand work to 10 Year Plans which are developed every three years. The Annual Plan is essentially the implementation of the 10 Year Plan over the coming financial year. The Annual Plan provides communities with flexibility so they can take into account changes that have occurred since the 10 Year Plan was developed.

Chief executive Paddy Clifford says that in the 10 Year Plan Council expected there would be an increase in the total rates in the coming financial year of 5.5%. However, after careful consideration he’s pleased that this has been reduced it to 4.3%. The owner of an average residential property land value of $136,000 will pay rates of $2,154 per annum or $41.42 a week.

Ratepayers will also notice changes to how rubbish and recycling is charged.
Last year Council decided that it is only fair that all residents, not just those who have kerbside recycling, should pay for transfer stations, fly tipping and community education and waste management. As such, the Plan proposes to split the rate for recycling into two parts: Properties with kerbside recycling will be charged $125 for this service; All properties, other than vacant land, will be charged $76 for rubbish and public recycling services.

Some of the items provided for in the draft Annual Plan:
• Construction of a disk filter to remove phosphorus from treated wastewater, subject to a study of the potential effects of this on the river ($900,000)
• Programme aimed at revitalising Broadway Avenue ($50,000)
• Seismic strengthening of Council owned buildings ($1.065m)
• Replacement of the big screen at Arena Manawatū, which will also be used for community events ($250,000 with the remainder to be found through fundraising).
• Upgrading parking meters to ensure new credit cards can continue to be used ($169,000)
• Start design work on:
o The proposed skate park redevelopment ($25,000)
o Modifications to the toddler’s pool at Freyberg Pool ($50,000)
o A proposed new library and community centre at Kelvin Grove ($30,000)
• Begin on the proposed Linton to Palmerston North Shared Pathway ($250,000)
• Bus terminal project ($400,000, down from $3.5million as the project is unlikely to be built in the next financial year because a preferred site has not been identified).
• Papaioea Place eco-friendly housing replacement ($1.059m)
• Improve under veranda lighting in the central business district ($605,000)

Paddy Clifford says Council has also budgeted to spend $17.2m next year on maintaining our assets so that they don’t get run down, thereby helping ensure that Council can keep providing quality services.

He says the draft Plan also includes provision for some projects which were originally scheduled for the current year but which have not progressed as fast as originally assumed.

You can find a copy of the draft Annual Plan by:
• visiting pncc.govt.nz key search words Annual Plan to download a copy
• calling us on 356 8199 and we will post you a copy
• or collect a copy from the Council offices or any branch of the library.

Paddy Clifford says Council has a range of strategies that fit under the 10 Year Plan and these show in more detail how we can make Palmerston North more sustainable. For a look at the strategies and our progress towards them, visit the ‘State of the City Monitoring Tool’ – go to pncc.govt.nz key search words: City Monitoring.

Ratepayers and residents are also invited to several community meetings to discuss the draft Annual Plan:
• Hokowhitu Village Centre: Tuesday, 1 April at 7pm
• Ashhurst Community Library: Wednesday, 2 April at 7:30pm
• Longburn Community Centre: Thursday, 3 April at 7:30pm
• Te Patikitiki Library, Monday: 7 April at 7pm
• Roslyn Community Library: Tuesday, 8 April at 7pm
• Awapuni Community Library: Wednesday, 9 April at 7pm
• Bunnythorpe Methodist Hall: Wednesday 9 April at 7pm

Submissions close at 4pm on the 22nd of April.

ENDS

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