2020/21 Annual Plan For Stratford District Adopted
Stratford District Council adopted the 2020/21 Annual Plan at its Ordinary Meeting on Tuesday 9 June.
In April, Council reviewed the assumptions that the Long Term Plan (LTP) Year 3 budget was based on, and made changes to better reflect the current and anticipated outlook for the district. This resulted in a reduction of the proposed overall rates increase for 2020/21 from 5.72% to 4.3%.
Community members were invited to provide feedback on the draft Annual Plan in May and through this process no significant changes were made.
Stratford District Mayor, Neil Volzke says at the time of developing the LTP in 2017/18, no-one could have foreseen the global pandemic we are currently facing.
“We are acutely aware that just like Council itself, our community is facing a wide range of challenges, be they of an economic nature, caused or exacerbated by COVID-19 or legislative reforms and other matters, that existed well before.”
“Affordability therefore continues to be at the forefront of elected members’ minds when preparing these plans,” said Mayor Volzke.
Council had already made savings in some areas to offset a number of previously unforeseen costs associated with this Annual Plan. Mayor Volzke says, “We identified further savings around staff training, interest on loans and other items that have little direct impact on the community and the services council provides.”
Some of the key changes in the Annual Plan 2020/21 from Year 3 of the LTP are listed below:
- Footpath maintenance increase in budget ($211,000)
- Remove War Memorial painting internal rooms ($54,000)
- Reduction in interest rate assumption ($21,332)
- Addition of funding of Tapuae Roa project through Venture Taranaki ($35,000)
- Maintenance Contract procurement savings ($228,000)
- Reduction in depreciation expense – post infrastructure asset revaluation ($97,000)
- Reduced Staff Training budget ($67,700)
- Removed Pensioner Housing renovations ($44,000)
- Removed Forestry Strategy Study consultants’ fee ($34,597).
Key projects that will progress in year three include:
- The new swimming pool
- The children’s bike park
- Prospero Place / Broadway development
- Upgrade of War Memorial Centre for Civil Defence purposes
- The Stratford Discovery Trail
- Wastewater treatment upgrades to comply with a new resource consent, which will ultimately improve the water quality of the Patea River
- District Plan Review
- Infrastructure renewals and improvements
A full copy of the Annual Plan is available on Council’s website, www.stratford.govt.nz, at the Stratford library or from Council’s Service Centre on Miranda Street.