Maintaining our essential assets, managing growth, addressing housing needs and continued investment in our community are the key themes within the draft Long Term Plan (LTP) 2021-2031.
Community consultation on the plan has started today.
The LTP sets out a programme of work and investment for the next 10 years, a plan that is reviewed and talked about with our community every three years.
Hastings mayor Sandra Hazlehurst said with more people choosing Hastings to live and work in, managing this growth is a key consideration within the plan.
“We are focused on getting the basics right as our district continues to grow – delivering safe drinking water, clean and efficient wastewater, refuse and stormwater disposal, safe roads and well-maintained public spaces.
“Council has looked to balance all these demands while aiming to keep rates as affordable as possible.
“We encourage our community to have their say on this plan and help us with our decision-making over the next 10 years.”
There are three particular areas the council is wanting feedback on: Investment in rural roads, car parking in the centres of Hastings and Havelock North, and the level and pace of investment in the revitalisation of Hastings inner city, events, and reserve and playground upgrades.
Overall the average rates increases proposed are 6.8 per cent in Year 1, 6.6 per cent in Year 2 and 5.5 per cent in Year 3, followed by an average 3.7 per cent increase in Years 4-10.
For rural areas the projected increase is seven per cent for the next six years, which reflects the need for increased rural road renewals.
Our rural roads were sealed in the late 1950s and with a life-span of about 75 years, now need to be renewed.
These roads are essential to rural activity and our district’s economy, and the LTP is proposing to lift the rates required to improve and maintain rural roads from $6m to $11m by Year 6 of the Plan.
The consultation asks the rural community how fast they think we should carry out this work, which impacts on the costs per year.
Two projects regarding parking are being proposed in the Hastings and Havelock North city centres.
In Hastings, people are asked to give feedback on raising parking charges to help fund further development of laneways, public car parking and other inner city improvements.
In Havelock North the council is proposing to purchase land at the existing New World site on Porter Drive to provide about 65 carparks.
Finally, council is asking what ongoing investment people would like to see in improving our city centres, as has been seen with the streetscape upgrades, upgrade of Landmarks Square, and creation of the Warren St multi-use carpark behind the Common Room.
Council is also asking for feedback on whether it should increase its level of support for events that bring economic returns to the district, particularly through tourism, and how much they would like to see council spend on reserve and playground upgrades.
Consultation documents on the proposals will start being mailed out next week, with a freepost card people can fill in and return, or they can go to www.myvoicemychoice.co.nz from today. Submissions close on May 7.
1 April 2021
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