- Date 10:36 AM Thursday 25 June 2020
- Type COVID-19
Marlborough District Council adopted its 2020-2021 Annual Plan today, setting a rates increase of 1.88%.
Mayor John Leggett said it was challenging to manage the community’s desire for increased levels of service and project funding, whilst also constraining rates increases.
“This year that task was made more difficult by the COVID-19 emergency, which has also caused a reduction in Council revenue streams.”
“When we consulted the public earlier this year, we made two commitments: our rates increase would be less than 2.2% and our programme of important capital works would continue.”
“Following Council’s consideration of the public submissions made as part of the consultation process, I’m pleased to say we have met both commitments.”
“Thank you to all 193 submitters for taking the time to participate, particularly during the lockdown period.”
“Our rates increase this year is an historic low and a major reduction on the 5.92% increase that was originally forecast two years ago in the 2018-28 Long Term Plan.”
“Fortunately, as part of supporting Marlborough’s COVID-19 economic recovery programme, we have also been able to continue funding some community projects requested by the public. This can be attributed to the Council’s prudent financial management over many years. A strong financial foundation is of great assistance to our COVID recovery.”
The Mayor said the Council will fund the completion of the Link Pathway ($169,565), upgrades to the hall, public toilets and septic system in Carluke Domain, Rai Valley ($153,913), the upgrade of the Awarua Park rugby and community facilities in Spring Creek ($140,000) and support a vision to develop a Wairau River Regional Park concept and management strategy ($30,000).
“A number of other requests were referred to committees for further consideration. Feasibility work will also be undertaken on three proposals in Waitohi/Picton: a hot pools and spa, a heritage and environment centre, and a mountain bike park. These are projects that could provide exciting new visitor attractions post-COVID.”
The Council has a number of capital expenditure projects underway this year, including the new District Library and Art Gallery, the Blenheim sewerage scheme upgrade, sports facilities at A&P Park and Lansdowne Park, and waste disposal and flood protection initiatives.
“Our investment in capital projects including the library and art gallery creates hundreds of jobs for Marlborough contractors, and also has multiple flow-on benefits for all sorts of local businesses.”
“With the economic challenges created by COVID-19, it’s more important than ever that we maintain our direct investment in the Marlborough economy, creating multi-generational assets and directly supporting small and medium sized businesses.”