Marlborough District Council has confirmed its funding priorities for the 2019-2020 Annual Plan, after considering 118 submissions from the public.
Mayor John Leggett said it’s always challenging for Council to manage the community’s desire for increased levels of service and project funds, whilst keeping a lid on rates increases.
“I’d like to thank all the submitters for taking the time to participate in this process.
“We’ve managed to keep the rates increase this year at 3.65%, down from the 3.96% we consulted on,and also fund some of the great initiatives and projects that were brought to us.
“Major investments in core infrastructure, particularly water, sewer and stormwater upgrades, remain our most significant cost driver.
“Council has been able to maintain a strong environmental and infrastructural focus whilst recognising that public amenities and community projects also need support.
“The combination of these initiatives means Marlborough will be an even better place to work and live.”
Council received a range of submissions from iwi, who suggested a number of initiatives which Council will progress through the Te Ao Māori Sub-committee. There were also submissions on how Picton’s future development should occur. There was consensus from submitters that further investment in Picton is needed, but agreement on an overall strategy for the town will require a review of the 10-year old Urbanism Plus development study, at an estimated cost of $200,000 spread over two years.
“This is an appropriate investment in Marlborough’s gateway township, which is such an important part of our region.”
The rates increase includes new funding for Marlborough Roads to increase the cleaning of Picton and Blenheim CBD pavements, and for more road and cycleway sweeping.
The Council also agreed to fund:
- Marlborough Riding for the Disabled ground maintenance: $10k
- Picton Little Theatre seismic assessment: $26k
- Marlborough Heritage Trust base funding increase of $8.6k; Edwin Fox security and weather protection: $15.2k
- Graeme Dingle Foundation Marlborough Career Navigator programme: $12k on-going
- Sport Tasman base funding increase: $5k
- Age Concern: $5k
- d’Urville Island Stoat Eradication Trust: $500k over six years,beginning 2020/2021
- Blenheim Community Patrol: $4k per year for three years
- Blenheim Business Association: $15k one-off
- Marlborough Youth Trust: $20k one-off
- Te Rūnanga o Rangitāne o Wairau: $88k maximum, one-off
- Picton Forum Charge – ceased: $(5k)
- Havelock Community Association: $1,452
- Disabled changing facility, Pollard Park: $100k (referred to the Assets and Services Committee).
- Rai Valley Area School, Whitney Street School and Tua Marina School received funding for their playground developments.
A number of submitters’ proposals will be referred to the relevant committee. Proposed cycleway and bike projects will be referred to Bike Walk Marlborough to progress. Some submitters will be advised to apply to the Community Grants Scheme.
A proposal for a fourth court at Renwick Tennis Club and a playground at Endeavour Park Pavilion were referred to the Land Subdivision Account process.
The expenditure in this year’s annual plan is in line with forecasts in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, with Council investing $519M on core services over ten years.
Significant infrastructure projects underway include upgrading Renwick’s water supply, building a new water treatment plant in Havelock, and building new water and sewerage infrastructure in Picton. In Blenheim, Council is building a new stormwater and wastewater network in the town’s north-west to support residential section development. Planning and development work is continuing on Blenheim’s new District Library and Art Gallery and the Lansdowne Park Sports Hub.
Rates for the coming year will be set at the Council meeting on 27 June, and will come into effect on 1 July.