Council plans for the year ahead take shape
Council has made decisions on the Annual plan 2016/17, which is now being finalised ready for adoption by the Council on 23 June.
Our Annual plan 2016/17 is year two of our FutureKāpiti Long term plan 2015-35. Our 2016/17 planning reflects this, with the exception of adjustments agreed yesterday by the Council. Community consultation on proposed changes took place throughout April, with a hearing held in May.
Mayor Ross Church thanked members of the community for their input during the consultation process. “We’ve heard a range of views in the written submissions and the public hearing. It’s great to have feedback and it’s pleasing that there’s broad support for continuing with the direction set in our Long term plan 2015-35.”
“While the response on proposed savings was mixed, on the whole there was no appetite for reducing services or activities in areas such as community support and economic development in order to reduce rates. Instead, people wanted to see initiatives such as a one-off grant to Wellington Free Ambulance to assist with the building of the new Kāpiti station and roading improvements on Waitohu Valley Road, and our final plans and rates for the year ahead reflect this.”
“We appreciate the time that individuals and local organisations put into submissions on the annual plan. This valuable input helps guide us as we consider our priorities and look to find the right balance between rates and investment in the future of our District.”
Council has approved the following as part of the 2016/17 plan:
- A one-off grant to Wellington Free Ambulance towards the building of the new Kāpiti station
- Funding previously allocated to the small business support service will be redirected to business attraction/support and major events
- The service delivery of i-Site Paraparaumu will be brought in-house in a new, more prominent site to be announced shortly
- The funding available for community grants will be retained at its current level
- The scope for the Ōtaki Pool upgrade work will now include a minimal upgrade of air-handling infrastructure and wooden cladding facing the car park, with an associated budget increase
- A long term plan for Maclean Park will be developed, in consultation with the community
- Some roading improvements will be carried out on Waitohu Valley Road
- The Council will continue to contribute to the Regional Amenities Fund, subject to the outcome of an upcoming review of the fund’s social and economic impact for the region
- Without community support for the additional funding for the Waikanae Park changing rooms upgrade, the project won’t progress during 2016/17.
As part of the annual plan some projects have been reprioritised within existing budgets including work on Kāpiti Road, stormwater systems upgrades and the rescheduling of the second sewer pumping main from Waikanae to Paraparaumu.
Other changes include an updated programme for the Paekākāriki seawall construction with completion two years earlier than planned, deferring the Kāpiti Performing Arts Centre contribution to align with the revised construction timeline and transferring asset management of rural fire vehicles to the Wellington Rural Fire Authority.
This programme of work for the coming year will mean an average increase in rates of 4.58% across the district, compared with the long term plan forecast level of 4.6%.
“The Council has focused on ways to continue working towards our vision of a vibrant, diverse and thriving Kāpiti, without increasing rates beyond projected levels.”