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Council Agrees Draft Annual Plan Budget

Council met today to set the budget for this year’s Draft Annual Plan, which will go out for public consultation on Friday 3 April.

Mayor John Leggett said the proposed rates increase of 4.86% is a result of a number of factors including cost pressures on local government, the Council’s extensive infrastructure programme for water, sewerage, stormwater and roading, and the community’s expectation of maintained or improved levels of service.

“To maintain current levels of service and lift levels in some areas, the proposed rates increase for 2020-21 is 4.86%,” Mayor Leggett says.

“Half of the rates increase is driven by the cost pressures facing local government, reflected in the Local Government Cost Index, which is running at 2.2% this year. This is the impact of cost increases for key infrastructure items such as bitumen and steel.”

“The other major driver is the Council’s investment in the environment and our infrastructure expenditure programme and related maintenance which has ramped up in recent years to ensure our key 3 waters and roading infrastructure is built or renewed and keeps up with the pace of Marlborough’s growth.”

“Environmental funding increases are in part driven by Council’s own objectives but also in response to central government requirements such as the proposed freshwater programme.”

“The rates increase is a 1.06% reduction on the increase forecast in the LTP for 2020-21 and a 1.82% reduction on the increase forecast for 2020-21 in the 2019-20 Annual Plan.”

$350k in funding from General Revenues previously earmarked for funding the Emergency Events Reserve, was used to offset the rates increase.

“The Emergency Event Reserve balance has increased significantly on what we previously expected so we are able to redirect some of the revenue.”

The introduction of a new Renwick weekly kerbside recycling service will also from part of the Annual Plan consultation. It would largely be paid for by a targeted rate on Renwick ratepayers, with a smaller impact on Picton and Blenheim ratepayers.

The additional items agreed by Council within the rates proposed today were:

Initiative

Cost

$

Muller Road stormwater, sewer and water project – replacement of stormwater, water main and increased sewer capacity6,430,000
Renewal of Lions Back water reservoir tanks, Seddon1,200,000
Wairau River edge protection works to ensure flood security after flooding in 20191,650,000
Co-funding of a Te Tauihu Pouārahi position to support civil defence and emergency management30,000
Renwick kerbside recycling73,775
New Blenheim District Library furniture, fittings and equipment1,600,000
Community facilities in Blenheim, including improvements to the Wither Hills Farm Park and Taylor River Reserve166,000
Community facilities improvements in Picton, including tracks, trails and playgrounds

172,000

80,000

Community facilities improvements in Seddon, Grovetown, Spring Creek, Renwick, Anakiwa, Canvastown, Wairau Valley and Ward130,450

Community facilities capital:

- Pou on Picton foreshore

- Shade sails for all Marlborough playgrounds

- Water meter/data loggers

15,000

300,000

96,000

Removal of Picton High Street planter boxes40,000
Picton cruise season funding for health and safety, traffic and cruise passenger management60,000
Council art collection maintenance30,000
Videography for key council projects25,000

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