Annual Plan 2008/09
Council received 245 submissions to the 2008/09 draft Annual Plan consultation and those who requested to speak before Council were heard at hearings in late May 2008. The Mayor thanks the many people who took the time to make a submission. The plan was adopted late June and is effective 1 July 2008.
Relation to the Long-term Council Community Plan
This Annual Plan sits under the 2006 -16 Long-term Council Community Plan (LTCCP), so most of what was budgeted for this financial year rolls over automatically.
Early 2009 Council will begin the process of seeking your feedback on the LTCCP to guide our city through the next ten years. Start thinking about what is important to you and how you’d like to see our city grow and change to meet the challenges of a new decade.
New projects, policies and proposals
The following were approved as part of the submission process.
Council has increased the level of funding to implement the Events Strategy, dedicating an additional $150,000 to it including $50,000 to underwrite events.
Council will work with the Economic Development Agency, Nelson Tasman Tourism and the business community to implement the Events Strategy and create events with significant tourism and economic benefits for the region. This is part of Council’s intention to put Nelson back on the radar and raise its profile throughout New Zealand.
An additional $140,000 was confirmed to implement the pedestrian and cycling strategies, including safety audits, planning new walkways, improving the Railway Reserve and cycle racks for the central city. Council received many positive submissions from residents, and even a few from non-residents, on how much they appreciated the quality of the cycleways in Nelson. Many submitters said that given the increasing cost of petrol, good quality and safe footpaths and cycleways were an important service provided by Council.
Council adopted the Sustainability Policy included as part of the Annual Plan. There was strong support for the Sustainability Policy and many residents asked that Council now start to develop an action plan for it. One important step is the consultation just completed on a draft Action Plan for Climate Change.
Work is now also underway on updating the Central City Strategy which has been given the name ‘Heart of Nelson’. It seeks to develop a long term plan for maintaining the successful features of the central city as well as implementing improvements. Find out more about the Heart of Nelson strategy.
Council confirmed a proposal to take on six more staff to process and inspect building consents, at a total cost including overheads of $560,000, with the majority recovered from applicants. The net additional cost to ratepayers is $172,000. The need for these positions was highlighted through the process to become an accredited Building Consent Authority. The extra staff should help to alleviate delays in the system.
Council decided to write off its $80,000 loan to the New Hub. This allows the organisation to concentrate on delivering programmes to support youth.
Culture, heritage and arts
Council considers that Nelson’s heritage is extremely important and a number of submissions requested that additional resources be allocated to enable an inventory of heritage buildings in the city. This project is expected to cost up to $150,000 and therefore to spread out the cost, Council decided that the work would be undertaken over two years.
The following allocations were made to organisations and facilities in this important area:
The Suter te Aratoi o Whakatu
An additional $65,000 will provide for trustee and audit fees.
Nelson Provincial Museum
$88,500 from both Nelson and Tasman Councils will provide for additional depreciation.
Council will work with the Anglican Diocese on celebrating the 150th anniversary of the founding of Nelson. There will be plenty of opportunities for Nelsonians to be involved in this important milestone.
This is currently being developed and co-ordinated by the Economic Development Agency and Arts Marketing. It will be completed this year.
Recreation and leisure
Council decided that two events should be provided on New Year’s Eve, an alcohol free youth event at The New Hub and a street performance and countdown to New Year in Trafalgar Street.
There were a large number of requests from community organisations for funding. Council decided that these should be considered as part of the community funding decisions that are due to be made in July. Council was very aware of the pressures on community organisations however and decided that an additional $50,000 for this year would be needed. This is a lot less than the amounts requested – an example of how difficult it is to balance the needs of the community with the impact of funding on rates.
Rating policy changes
Council adopted five rating changes as part of the Annual Plan process. These are:
- Change the rating basis for medium size bed and breakfast establishments
- Provide rates remission for households with dependant relatives housed in an additional unit.
- Provide rate relief on residential properties with an unoccupied second unit.
- Amend the stormwater rating policies to remove the exemption from stormwater charges for Hill Street properties
- Amend the stormwater rating policies so that only one stormwater rate is charged for multi-unit properties.
The proposal to sell a freehold block of land at the western end of Blackwood Street in Annesbrook between Pascoe Street and the residential area was approved. The process of rezoning and subdividing the land can now begin. The public will have the opportunity to make further submissions through that process.
New resource consent fees schedule
The new fees schedule was adopted without any changes from the draft.