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3 Jun 2016

Council adopts Annual Plan for 2016/17

Nelson City Council has adopted its Annual Plan for the 2016/17 financial year.

The Plan covers Council’s work programme for the upcoming year and Mayor Rachel Reese says many of the major projects included in the Plan focus on developing our city’s assets.

The Annual Plan comes into force on 1 July 2016 and includes a rate increase of 2.8% compared with the Long Term Plan figure of 3.4% for the 2016/17, and a debt level of $131M compared with the Long Term Plan figure of $133M.

Mayor Rachel Reese says through refining budgets and prioritisation of projects, Council has achieved a reduction in the rates rise proposed in the Long Term Plan.

“Of course, further reductions could have been achieved through cuts in services and delaying or removing infrastructure projects, but we are committed to addressing necessary investment in core infrastructure.

“These projects, including the Neale Park pump station renewal, Maitai pipeline duplication and the Railway Reserve stormwater improvements, while expensive, are essential for city development and protection of private and public assets.”

Within the Plan, Council also confirmed a business-case approach for all capital projects to ensure better efficiencies.

“This will enable Council to make better informed decisions on value for money and achievement of outcomes,” says Mayor Reese

“On top of this, over the last year, I have been particularly focused on reviewing Council’s property assets to ensure they are delivering benefits to our city. We cannot afford underperforming assets.

“Rutherford Park is coming to life with the Trafalgar Centre development and carparking and greenspaces along the Maitai. We will also be progressing the review of the marina precinct to see how we can better use this important area.

“Council is also focused on activating the vacant space in Civic House and the State Advances Building to revitalise the bottom end of Trafalgar Street,” she says.

Council will continue linking the city to the sea, with the preliminary stages of the Haven Precinct set for the upcoming year.

“The Haven Precinct will move to the development plan stage. It is time to unlock the potential of the Haven Precinct and make the most of Nelson’s natural and recreational assets by creating walking and cycling connections, quality public spaces and opportunities for private investment. This is a priority for Council.”

“We have also confirmed the library’s riverside location and work will begin in the upcoming year on concept designs for the library redevelopment – which will further develop our links,” says Mayor Reese.

The Plan highlights Council’s commitment to Stoke, with work beginning on the Greenmeadows sports and community facility, as well as progressing the Stoke urban design strategy.

“We are ensuring our community is catered for, across the city.

“Along with urban design work, we are also focusing on our outdoor recreation potential, which in part, is thanks to a large amount of feedback from the mountain biking community," says Mayor Reese.

Council’s 2016/17 work programme now contains a total of $178,000 for mountain biking projects, including a new grade 2 track in Marsden Valley; a new track and toilet facilities on Fringed Hill and the reinstatement of Codgers Track.

There is also funding to extend the scope of Council’s Off Road Tracks and Trails Strategy to cover the wider issue of the future economic potential from developing mountain biking as a visitor attraction.

“Of course, there are many other areas we are working in partnership with the community to ensure we continue this momentum and continue to ensure a strong economy.

“This Annual Plan is about continuing to build a strong platform for success, which has been created by last year’s Long Term Plan, and ensuring we are working towards an even better Nelson,” says Mayor Reese.