Water metering, staying safe this summer, consultations - Everything you need to know in our Council weekly projects update 18 December 2020 Welcome to the weekly wrap-up of our latest Council project news, important dates and information about what's happening in our District - all now in one easy-to-read email, sent every Friday. This week: Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year Council meeting highlights Thames Airfield Development - Stage One cleared for take-off Fire risk at Opoutere Recreation Reserve Other work happening in your neighbourhood Have your say on our Freedom Camping Bylaw review Outdoor dining and outdoor displays Statutory timeframes for processing applications closing soon Everything you need to know this summer Drive with care this summer Our Council road and resealing work finished for 2020 What's on in the Coromandel? If you missed last week's update, read it here. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year from Mayor Sandra and Council Congratulations and well done to you all on getting through a year of extraordinary events. A pandemic causing a nationwide lockdown, followed by an Auckland lockdown. With effects that are incalculable - both good and bad. We have all learned some things…the renewed importance of family, friends, and interaction with others; how we really can work from home; and just what a beautiful and special country we live in. This has been a year of significant change for us all. And yet, as a Council, we still achieved a great deal. Obtaining $28 million of government funding for aquaculture/marine developments at the Sugarloaf/Te Ariki Tahi (Coromandel Harbour) and Kōpū Four new drinking water treatment plants – Tairua, Pauanui, Whangamatā and Whitianga – with more on the way in the New Year (Wentworth Valley and Moana Point (Whangamatā ), Onemana, Matarangi and Hahei (in that order) Progressing with our Shoreline Management plans – coastal groups have been set up and we’ll be sharing more information about that over the summer Completion of Coromandel Town’s main street upgrade, Creating a vibe in Thames And a new skatepark, just in time for Christmas, in Whitianga. Looking ahead to 2021, in an environment of economic uncertainty, we have to prepare our Long Term Plan for 2021 – 2031. We already know it’s going to be a tight budget. In early March we’ll be sharing two lists with you on our proposed spend. The first list lays out all the basics. There are no choices here, as it’s about meeting our commitments - contractual, legal or government obligations, or already planned renewal work. The second list is the “nice to haves,” which is work communities can decide to include in our LTP budgets –and we will show how much more that will cost.Together as communities, and as a Council, we have to make some tough decisions about what’s on that second list, and re-assess how we deliver current services. We are reviewing how our visitors can contribute more, so there is less impact on you, our ratepayers.To help be part of this, do subscribe to our electronic newsletter. I know many of you don’t live all the time in our district – if you subscribe as indicated, we can share more news directly with you. Which brings me to this Christmas/New Year period. We are expecting tens of thousands of visitors to descend on the Coromandel for the holidays. (The Prime Minister has already let us know it’s the place to be). So if you’re holidaying here, pack a COVID kit – be prepared to stay put at campgrounds if COVID community transmission emerges during the summer break; Be mindful of water supplies and conserve as much as you can; don’t light fires or fireworks; and think of all our volunteer and other emergency services who will be working hard to keep you safe. Our digital Christmas card this year has a Zoom theme, reflecting a year where many of us were still able to be connected no matter where we were. Whatever happens we’ll get through it, and whatever happens, we’ll make the best of it, because that’s what we’re all about - and we’ll do it together. Love the Coromandel – it truly is good for your soul. Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. Mayor Sandra Goudie. Council approves government grant to fund water meters for Whitianga and Whangamatā supplies Grant funding we've received from the Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) of $4.8 million will be used to install nearly 7,822 water meters on the Whitianga and Whangamatā water supply systems. This was endorsed by Council at its last meeting of the year, this week. As part of the funding agreement with DIA, the work must begin by March 2021 and be completed by March 2022. “Water metering has been proven to be a valuable tool for tracking down water loss, and accurately measuring water volumes reaching consumer properties,” says our Council’s Operations Group Manager Bruce Hinson. "We can make savings through locating major leaks, knowing who our biggest water users are, and working with them to look at ways to better manage and conserve water,” Mr Hinson says. Our Water Demand Strategy identifies conservation measures to manage drinking water demand within our district, including the installation of meters on properties. A copy of this strategy can be found on our website. We won’t be charging residents for water by meter for at least two years following this installation. These first two years will be used to gather consumption data, which will be shared with you. Any water charging regimes in the future are likely to see a reduction in fixed charges and more of a charge based on volumetric use. Paying for water use through a volumetric metered charge is like paying an electricity bill based on the amount of power used. Water meters are already in place in some parts of our district such as Thames, Coromandel Town and some parts of Tairua and Whitianga to name a few. Initially we are sending out a letter to properties in Whangamatā and Whitianga to advise about the installation of water meters. Early in the new year we will provide more information on this water meter programme. See the full Council meeting agenda here and view a recording of the meeting here. Tairua skate facility project Council approved a budget of $300,000 funded from the Tairua-Pauanui subdivision reserves to pay towards the construction of a skate facility in Tairua at Cory Park. The Tairua Sports and Recreation Trust have raised $110,000 in pledges towards the $150,000 needed as community co-contribution. The total estimated cost to complete a skate facility is $450,000. An independent commissioner has determined that the Certificate of Compliance for the proposed skate park is considered permitted under the District Plan, as an active recreation facility within a sporting zone. Over November, Council staff contacted residents in the vicinity of Cory Park to ask for their feedback on a concept design, and a survey was distributed Thank you to everyone who took the time to give us feedback. We’re working through the submissions and looking at accommodating key issues raised into a new detailed design. The Tairua-Pauanui Community Board will be considering the final design and submissions in the New Year. More information is on our website. Other items on the meeting agenda: Proposed Long Term Plan capital works programme A comprehensive list of capital works projects will now be modelled for their impact on rates ready for public consultation as part of our proposed 2021-2031 Long Term Plan (LTP) in March 2021. List A is ‘must do’ projects based largely on our renewals programme (to replace infrastructure at the end of its useful life) List B is ‘nice to haves’ which are mostly projects that would improve some aspect of Council services but are not essential to maintaining the services we deliver. These have been recommended by our Community Boards as projects that communities would like to see. These two lists will be modelled for their costs and rating impacts and will be included in the financial information presented as part of the LTP consultation. After the consultation, our Council will deliberate on the community feedback and their preferred option will be finalised for the LTP. Council’s preferred option is the ‘nice to haves’ will sit as a reserve list in the appendix of the final LTP so that when proposed new revenue streams materialise, Council can then move projects into the capital works programme through the Annual Plan process. “Together as communities, and as a Council, we’re going to have to make some tough decisions about our preferred option and affordability, as well as assessing how we deliver the services we currently offer, plus reviewing how our visitors can contribute more, so there’s less impact on our ratepayers,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. “To help be part of this, I highly recommend subscribing to our email newsletter at tcdc.govt.nz/subscribe because I know many of you don’t live all the time in our district – and it’s a great way for us to share news with you,” Mayor Sandra says. A third list, C, is projects that were considered but won’t be progressed. Some examples of List A projects: District-wide drinking water standards upgrades - $18 million Thames South water treatment plant, Puriri - $12.5 million Te Kouma Road intersection upgrade, Coromandel-Colville - $1.863 million Matarangi wastewater treatment plant, Mercury Bay - $17.1 million Holland Stream improvements, Pauanui - $6.377 million Whangamata stormwater improvements - $5.985 million Stay up to date with our LTP process on our website, our email newsletters and our Facebook page. Long Term Plan pre-consultation Our Long Term Plan (LTP) pre-consultation survey closed recently. We received 1336 responses to our Facebook and website polls and 1157 responses to our online survey questions. Many people provided comments to support their survey responses which Councillors noted helped with their understanding of why people responded the way they did. This information, along with other processes where you have told us what you think is being used to inform our LTP activity and budgeting process. Thank you to all of those who provided feedback and to those who told others about it. We’ll be asking for public feedback on our draft proposals for the LTP from 5 March to 6 April 2021. Sign up for our e-newsletters visit our website and like and follow us on Facebook to stay in touch and be kept up to date on our LTP preparations. Kauri dieback prevention measures (Photo, right: File picture from MPI of a kauri tree infected with Kauri Dieback Disease) An out-of-cycle budget request of $157,170 has been approved for this financial year to pay for tracks and boardwalk works at Long Bay Reserve, in the Coromandel-Colville ward, that will make them compliant with national Kauri Dieback Disease standards and protect the magnificent kauri there. Our Council will be reimbursed the entire cost of the works through a grant of $142,170 from Biosecurity New Zealand (part of the Ministry of Primary Industries) and we’ll work with Waikato Regional Council for fencing, bringing in an additional $15,000. The assets created will be a renewed track, additional boardwalks and a replacement fence. The Long Bay Reserve track will be closed for three weeks in March 2021 while the work takes place. The report to Council detailing the costs is here. Thames Airfield Development - Stage One cleared for take-off Our Council is calling for expressions of interest from those in the aviation community who may be interested in leasing hangar spaces at Sir Keith Park Memorial Airfield in Thames. The sites initially available to be leased will be H1 to H5, H7 and H8 on the development plan. Hangar sites H9 to H16 will later become available, as will 20 residential hangar sites and land for commercial activity. Right now, we want to gauge the level of interest for the six hangars, along with potential ideas for development. A formal tendering process for the six hangars starts Monday 7 April 2021. This is Stage One of development for the airfield, which is focused on lease sites for hangars only. The second stage will involve establishment of accommodation hangars and commercial activities. In keeping with the airfield designation of the land under our Council’s District Plan, all activities in the airfield precinct, including accommodation hangars and commercial development, must be aviation-related. This is a highly exciting development for the airfield and for Thames,” says our Mayor Sandra Goudie. “Council staff have been working very closely with airfield users to get the conditions right for the airfield to be used to its maximum potential. We’re cleared for takeoff!” Register your interest Send your expression of interest in leasing space for an aircraft hangar by 22 January 2021 to Erin Bates, our Council’s District Placemaking Manager and Thames Area Manager, by email via email@example.com or call on 07 868 0200. Fire risk at Opoutere Recreation Reserve The Department of Conservation(DOC) manages thousands of hectares of Public Conservation Land across the Coromandel Peninsula. Part of that land includes a coastal strip of pine trees at the Opoutere Recreation Reserve.The pine trees at the Reserve, including many which are dead as a result of a suspicious poisoning incident several years ago, represent fuel for a potentially serious fire caused by human activity, for example campfires, barbecues or fireworks.DOC is appealing to the public to be sensible and cautious in and near the Opoutere Recreation Reserve – visitor and community co-operation and behaviour is crucial to avoiding a fire at this site.DOC is currently working with an independent contractor on the development of felling and replanting plans for the removal of the poisoned pines and anticipate that these will be completed by the end of March 2021.DOC has engaged an independent fire specialist to assess risk and make recommendations for the ongoing management of the pines at Opoutere as a fire hazard. This will support decision making, planning and funding requirements for future remedial work.We fully support FENZ message to Opoutere residents and visitors to have an escape plan to evacuate Opoutere in the event of a fire. Work happening in your neighbourhood Cooks Beach Transit Street beach access - We’re starting work today at Transit St to open a pedestrian-only, beach access path to the west (left) of the main beach access at Transit St (see map pictured). There will be directional signage in place for boat launching and walker Over the busy summer period we will monitor the use of the reserve and the interaction between the boaties and pedestrian users of the beach. Should any significant health and safety issues arise during this period, we’ll assess this along with the outcomes from Whangamatā’s Reserve Management Plan submissions to inform the longer-term strategy for the area. As a result, the interim access solution is temporary until all things have been properly considered and consulted with the wider community. Coromandel Hub project - The Coromandel Hub project has been approved for a $500,000 grant from the Lotteries Community Fund. The Coromandel Independent Living Trust (CILT) scheme has been in development since 2014 with construction set to start in 2021. Construction of stage one of the two-stage project is slated to start in May 2021. The Pound Street building will offer meeting rooms, office space, hot-desking and high-speed internet facilities.It will also provide increased outreach rooms for visiting professionals, such as lawyers, osteopaths, counsellors, Probations NZ and the IRD. The building will also boast much-needed amenities for tourists, visitors and locals alike with a specific area containing toilets, lockers, changing rooms and a tent drying room. This is a project that’s been supported by our Council. Ride Coromandel bike park - Join us this Sunday for the official opening of the Coromandel Town bike park. The bike park consists of a pump track with descent and gravity trails, which has been constructed by GravityPro. Exciting guests at next week’s opening are professional BMX riders Jayden Fleming and Bennet Greenough, who will be there doing a demonstration from 2:30pm. Please bring your bikes, mountain / ebikes, making sure they are cleaned if you are coming from anywhere near kauri dieback areas. You’ll also need helmets, water and water bottles and a sense of fun. There will be a sausage sizzle to help raise funds - or if you want to make a donation – all of this will help fund further development. Offers of help are also gratefully accepted - this bike park has been 10 years in the making, led by the Spirit of Coromandel Trust, and has come to fruition thanks to many volunteer hours, local contractors and funding from organisations including our Council. To follow the progress of the bike park follow their Facebook page at www.facebook.com/RideCoromandel/. (Pictured below - pump track.) Footbridge on Whitianga Esplanade The new footbridge has been completed and installed and was open to the public yesterday. Whangapoua boat ramp - The new pontoon has been installed and will be ready for use over summer. Mercury Bay skate park - With the completion of the Skate Park going well we are still on target to be practically complete by Christmas. We intend to open the park on Tuesday 22 December in the afternoon to users. There will be some areas of work that we haven’t managed to finish which include the timber decks, shelters and garden planting. We will make these areas safe and usable but are asking that the skate park users please keep off and away from the unfinished areas of the park. The shelters and deck work will be completed late January and the planting is scheduled for later in April when the plants have a better chance of survival. As we draw closer to finishing the new park we will be decommissioning the old park. This will mean that this week the old timber quarter pipe ramps are removed and the half pipe placed in storage for future use on Monday. The concrete hips in the old park will be also be removed and decommissioned. To complete this work the site will be fenced off whilst the cranes and diggers work to remove the old park. There will be no skate park area available from Monday morning until Tuesday next week when the new park is opened. Please try not to skate and scoot in our new town centre during this time. Thank you for your patience and understanding we hope you respect and enjoy it safely over summer in Whitianga. Mayor Sandra is officially opening the Whitianga Skatepark at 9am on Saturday 9 January 2021. Following the opening there will be the inaugural Coro Scooter Jam, an Ethic-DTC sponsored event. This is a family friendly event for all ages. To register for the event see snowandstreet.co.nz. Thames Centennial Pool - The pool will be closed from 19 December 2020 through to 26 January 2021 for painting and other maintenance work. The work is scheduled over this time as the pool use is lower, and doesn’t disrupt the swimming programmes which run over the school terms. Create the vibe – Thames Detailed design for the Innovating Streets project in Mary/Pollen Streets will be sent to Waka Kotahi/NZTA for final approval this week. We’re working with Thames Business Association to launch the changes at the Food and Buskers Festival on 6 March. The Baxters wall mural has been completed by artist Erika Pearce and complements the Stirling Sports mural installation. The Civic Centre foyer has been booked in for painting in February. We want to know what you think of the proposed hoggin path walkway in Pauanui Do you want to continue to restore and enhance the resilience of Pauanui Beach dunes to protect against coastal erosion? Do you want access for all members of the public across the reserve? Do you like the proposed hoggin path design in line with the path created at the surf club? What pathway position option (a or b, or other) do you like best? If other, please describe and explain why, and any other comments. You can view the proposed plan and complete a short survey at tcdc.govt.nz/pauanuihogginpath from 5pm Friday 11 December – Friday 8 January 2021. (Pictured is proposed route of the path). Pauanui accessway improvements - Improvements to the accessways in Pauanui have been carried out on 2 accessways - access 9 and access 11.The sand ladder was removed and the handrail was adjusted on access 11 (pictured right). The access remains a direct walkway down to the beach with a handrail on one side. It also remains a fairly steep accessway due to the dune structure. This was the least invasive and most practical way to carry out the improvements in anticipation of higher summer visitor numbers. Remedial works will be carried out after the festive season/school holidays. Have your say on our Freedom Camping Bylaw review Our Freedom Camping Bylaw is being reviewed and we want your thoughts about a few changes we’re proposing to some of the current sites and the addition of one new site. Our consultation is starts today and runs to Tuesday 2 February 2021. To read the full proposals and to have your say online, go to tcdc.govt.nz/freedomcampingreview. Or, pick up a submission form from one of our Council service centres. Or for more information click here. Outdoor dining and outdoor displays Displays outside shops and enjoying a meal or a drink outside a restaurant is a great use of our footpaths, and adds to the diversity and vibrancy of our district. It is important to maintain the balance between functionality and public accessibility and safety. We aimed to achieve this by the establishment of our Activities in Public Places Bylaw 2017 -Te Ture a-Rohe ki nga Wahi Marea, which states any outdoor dining and/or displaying of goods requires a licence. If you wish to display goods outside or offer outdoor dining please visit our website here to download an application form. If you have already engaged our Council but do not hold a current licence, you will receive either a letter or phone call from us in order to restart the licensing process. While there is a $100 application fee, we would like to offer our businesses a waiver of the lease fee ($20 per sqm). If you have any questions or wish to know more please contact our customer service team at firstname.lastname@example.org or on 07 868 0200. Statutory timeframes Statutory timeframes for processing applications for consents, Land Information Memoranda (LIMs) and alcohol licences pause from 20 December to early January. Make sure you get your application in on good time to have it processed before the Christmas holiday. See the relevant section of our website for the deadlines and more information. Everything you need to know this summer Christmas is just around the corner – along with the summer holidays. So if you’re visiting the Coromandel we have put everything you need to know about dogs on beaches, our Council office hours, fire and alcohol bans all on the one page. So click here to read everything you need to know about our services over summer. Drive with care this summer Waka Kotahi/New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) is reminding drivers to slow down, buckle up, plan ahead and stay sober these holidays. Director of Regional Relationships Steve Mutton says more cars on the road, tired drivers and people driving on unfamiliar roads can make holiday driving stressful and risky. “We can all take simple actions to stay safe. That means checking your car is safe before your journey, keeping your speed down, driving sober, watching for the signs of fatigue and sharing the driving. “Allow plenty of extra time to make sure you get to your holiday destinations safely. Remember, you’re on holiday, so there’s no need to rush.” Remember to use NZTA's handy tool that shows predicted traffic flow across popular journeys based on travel patterns from previous years which includes the Coromandel. It can be found here. In the Waikato delays are predicted on State Highway 25 at Tairua. Motorists should be prepared for heavy traffic on SH2 between Paeroa and Waihi. Tips from NZTA for safe driving on your summer holiday: Drive to the conditions, allow plenty of time and take regular breaks to stay alert. Be patient when driving this summer so everyone can relax and enjoy the holidays together. Keep a safe following distance from vehicles in front so you can stop safely. Drive to the conditions - whether it’s the weather, the condition of the road you’re on, the time of day or the volume of traffic on the roads. Take regular breaks to stay alert. Allow plenty of time. You’re on holiday, no need to rush. Vehicle safety Your vehicle must be safe to drive before you set off on your summer holiday. There are basic checks you can do yourself, including: Tyres – minimum tread is 1.5mm but the more tread, the better the grip. Lights – check lights work so your vehicle is visible in poor light. Indicators – ensure all indicators work so people know which direction you are moving. Windscreen and wipers – check for wear and tear so you can see the road safely. For more information on self-checks, visit their website at nzta.govt.nz/twirl. Our Council road and resealing work is completed Our Council's road and resealing work for 2020 is now finished. Thank you everyone for your cooperation and patience while this was finished. What's on in the Coromandel? We have been very lucky this week to receive three double passes to Black Grace who are touring the Coromandel this summer. We have a double pass for the Thames, Whitianga and Whangamatā shows, let us know your favourite dance spot on the Coromandel and be in to win. The drawer will take place on Monday 21 December at 4pm. Click here to see what other events are coming up for summer.