Drinking water an LTP priority
Council’s top priority of providing the community with safe drinking water is strongly reflected in this year’s draft Long Term Plan.
The draft LTP will be considered by councillors at this week’s Hastings District Council meeting.
Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says Council has prepared a bold, robust, resilient, draft Long Term Plan for the future of the Hastings District and its people.
”The draft LTP sets out the Council’s main priority for sustainable safe drinking water across the Hastings District, to meet community expectations and new national standards for drinking water. It reflects our learnings from the Government Inquiry into the Havelock North water contamination event.”
The draft LTP allows for new capital investment of $38 million for drinking water infrastructure, and recommends a targeted rate is paid by owners of properties connected to Council’s drinking water supplies.
Major drinking water infrastructure projects include UV and chlorination treatment on all of Council’s 10 supplies, investigating new water sources, and a major pipeline between Hastings and Havelock North. This will mean the remaining Brookvale bore will close once these works are complete. All of the elements in Council’s Water Safety Plan are designed to build resilience, additional capacity and flexibility into the water supply network.
Other major projects set out in the LTP include the strengthening of the district’s bridges in line with the government’s new regulatory provisions for heavier trucks, continuing the Opera House strengthening project in the city’s arts and cultural precinct, investing in the central city vibrancy plan and for more fun activities to be added to parks and reserves.
Other priorities identified in the draft Long Term Plan provide for a range of housing options for urban growth while protecting the Hastings district’s productive plains.
Mrs Hazlehurst says: “Work on upgrading the drinking water systems is imperative. The funds that we have allowed for in the early years of the Long Term Plan will ensure that our people can be sure that they have access to safe drinking water.”
Good progress has already been made to strengthen the water supply, including putting full treatment on the remaining Brookvale bore, putting new mains through Hastings and in Havelock North, starting on the project to put in a second main to carry water from Hastings to Havelock North, and the installation of treatment on all bore sites.
The intention of the plan is to provide a high level of service across the 40 local government services provided by Council. “However, our challenge is funding our goals and obligations while at the same time keeping our rates affordable. It is our Council’s commitment to keep our rates rises at around three per cent, excluding the special targeted rate increases for water,” said Mrs Hazlehurst.
The average general rate increase for Hastings ratepayers will remain under three per cent again this year, in line with Council’s stated objective.
The proposed increases in the targeted water rate are $100 per household a year for two years, and $50 in the third year.
Mrs Hazlehurst is calling for people to provide feedback on the plan. “We would love you to have your say on our draft Long Term Plan. Community involvement through the submission process helps us to make plans that benefit the wellbeing of the whole community.”
The council urges residents to consult on the draft Long Term Plan when it is published for consultation on April 7. Submissions can be lodged until May 11.