Annual Plan maintains focus on infrastructure 25 June 2019 Our Council’s significant capital works programme will continue in the coming financial year, with $43 million earmarked for projects including upgrades to our district’s water supplies, improvements to Council roads that were previously unmaintained and upgrading or building new toilets in popular visitor areas. (Photo: The new water treatment plant in Whitianga) At its meeting today, our Council adopted the Annual Plan for 2019/2020, which sets out the budgets and projects for the coming financial year. There is no significant variation from what was set out for the year in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan (LTP). “We’re very much staying the course this coming year, continuing our focus on core services,” Mayor Sandra Goudie says. “We’re making a big investment into making sure we provide safe drinking water and well-maintained roads. We’re also leveraging external sources of funding such as the government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund to make sure toilet and parking facilities in our visitor hotspots can cope with the growing numbers of tourists coming here,” Mayor Sandra says. "And, don't forget, we're continuing our journey of collaborating with our coastal communities to develop shoreline management plans," Mayor Sandra says. "In the LTP we put aside $2.6 million over last year and the coming two years to work on these plans. In the coming months we’ll be engaging with our communities, holding discussions about the various options available in different places. Expect to see more news about this soon,” Mayor Sandra says. See more about our shoreline management plans here. The $43 million capital expenditure programme for the year combined with some additional operating costs means the total rate increase has been set at 4.94 percent, up a little from the rate increase projected in the LTP of 4.13 percent. The higher operating costs include an extra one percent of inflation that is now predicted due to the country’s economic situation and an additional $300,000 for our district’s roading maintenance contract, which was recently renewed. This year we begin a 10-year, $18 million upgrade of Council roads that were previously unmaintained, with the most-populated and least resilient roads receiving attention first. We’re now well into our $15 million upgrade of the district’s water supplies to meet drinking water standards, with the new $2.8 million Whitianga plant already in operation and work about to begin on the new treatment plants in Pauanui and Tairua. Read more on the drinking water upgrades at tcdc.govt.nz/dws. Public toilets in visitor hotspots such as Hahei, Onemana and Whangapoua are being upgraded, with grants from the government’s Tourism Infrastructure Fund helping meet the costs. Some new projects for this year: These are the new projects with a value of more than $300,000 that have been added to our work programme for the coming year that weren’t in the LTP: Thames refuse transfer station second weighbridge - $398,000; Roading Preventative Maintenance - $400,000; Rubbish compactors (at refuse transfer stations) - $550,000. The timing of some work has been put back: Rhodes Park grandstand replacement (Thames) – The $3.1 million for this project (with up to 23 percent to be sought from Rhodes Park user groups and external grants) has been deferred to consider potentially relocating the grandstand with the proposed replacement for Thames Centennial Pool. A location at the south end of the Sir Keith Park Memorial Airfield in Thames has been chosen for further investigation as a site for a proposed pool/sports hub. The investigations are ongoing and a concept plan including funding options will go to public consultation, likely as part of the 2021-2031 Long Term Plan. tcdc.govt.nz/thamesreplacementpool Onemana public toilets – New toilets to replace the existing ones at the Onemana Surf Life Saving Club has been deferred to the 2019/20 financial year. This project has received $108,352 from the government‘s Tourism Infrastructure Fund. Whitianga refuse transfer station construction - $1.9 million has been earmarked over two years to replace the transfer station. Construction will now begin in the 2019/20 financial year instead of 2018/19. Check some of the projects going on now around the district, here. For more information on rates and what they pay for, click here. Fees and charges: Our Council also adopted the schedule of fees and charges for the 2019/20 financial year. There are some new fees, including: The fuel heater and temporary marquee application fees now include the separate inspection fee so have increased from $220 to $480. This means there is only one invoice, which is more efficient. A temporary stage fee has been created reducing the financial impact from obtaining a building consent on average of $3,200 to a fee for $1,309. The Certificate for Public Use application has been changed from reflecting the actual time taken to the average cost, in order to reduce invoicing costs. The new fee is set at $500. A fee for the recovery and storage of abandoned vehicles - $600. Some fees have been increased: The standard LIM fee increases from $220 to $250 to cover the full costs involved. The cost of Council’s official blue rubbish bags will increase from $2.50 to $2.80 to accommodate an increase in the emissions trading scheme levy (half bag will increase from $1.30 to $1.40). Refuse transfer station fees also increase to accommodate the same levy increase: Unofficial refuse bags increases from $3.20 to $4.00. At locations with no weigh bridge: Uncompacted waste increases from $53 to $65 per cubic metre. Compacted waste increases from $160 to $200 per cubic metre. Green waste increases from $29 to $36 per cubic metre. At locations with a weigh bridge: Waste increases from $181 to $197 per tonne. Green waste increases from $102 to $126 per tonne. Check the full schedule of fees and charges at tcdc.govt.nz/fees.