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Annual Plan 2010/11

On this page you will find the Nelson City Council Annual Plan 2010-2011.

The Annual Plan explains the services and activities that Council plans to provide in 2010-2011. It highlights and explains any major differences from what had been planned in the ten-year Nelson Community Plan, which was completed in 2009. Read about the Nelson Community Plan.

The Annual Plan makes sure Council is accountable to the community by showing the proposed budget and cost to ratepayers of providing services and activities for the coming year. It brings together decisions and the resources to get on with the work.

Summary of the key points of the plan

This document includes a lot of detailed information on Council’s accounts.

The summary discusses the major issues from throughout the plan, particularly the key points and changes made in response to submissions.

The full plan can be downloaded below.

Economic climate

Council is aware that the economic situation is showing signs of lifting after five quarters of recession. It is also aware that many Nelsonians continue to live with the effects of the downturn and that a financially conservative approach is needed to continue the recovery.

Rate rise this year

The 2009 Nelson Community Plan indicated a rates increase of 8.0% for its second year, in 2010/11. The budget in this Annual Plan shows an average rate increase of 5.69% excluding GST. The main effect on rates was the deferral of funding that had been planned for the now delayed Performing Arts and Conference Centre, equivalent to just over a 1% reduction in the rates increase for 2010/11. This cost will now fall in later years should the project proceed.

  • former Community Plan forecast for 2010/11 = +8.1%
  • 2010/11 proposed rate increase = +6.3%
  • final effective increase excluding GST = +5.69%

Effect of GST increase

Where rates and charges are shown including GST, the total is subject to an increase in GST during the period of this plan. From 1 October 2010, GST will increase from 12.5% to 15%. The average increase in rates and charges in 2010/11 is 5.69%, exclusive of GST. But, due to the GST increase, the total rates and charges, inclusive of GST, will increase by 7.46% if paid on a quarterly basis. If a ratepayer wishes to pay their total rates before 1 October 2010, the GST charged would only be 12.5%. In addition, if they pay before 27 August 2010, the 2% discount for early payment would also apply.

More for your money

Am I getting more for my increased rates? The short answer to this is yes. Each year Council faces tough choices as it is pressed to deliver more value for less cost. And while Council faces increased costs, it knows ratepayers also face similar challenges. We are always aware of the need to use public funds for the best overall good, and to limit the effect of increased costs. As well as maintaining enviable infrastructure and utilities networks, Council has invested in developing sporting and community facilities for residents and visitors to enjoy now and the future. It has also invested in proven sustainable technologies so Nelson can look to the future confidently.

An example of improved community facilities is the developments already underway at Tahunanui Beach. The aim is to make the area even more pedestrian friendly and accessible for the thousands of locals and visitors who flock there every year. Work planned for 2010/11 includes more planting, bike racks, disabled access ways and signs to help locals and visitors to find their around the area.

Council priorities in tough times

Council’s considered approach to avoid contraction of the local economy while working increasingly efficiently has helped to protect Nelson from the worst effects of the global recession.

At the same time, Council’s goals and priorities have lead the city’s vision by lining up a series of practical actions to build resilience. These priorities are what Council continues to use as touchstones to coordinate its work for our community. All are equally important.

Council’s promise to its community is embodied in the later sections in this plan on Council activities. Each of its enormous breadth of activities – from sewer pipes to Opera in the Park, street lighting to mountain bike tracks – is part of a coordinated plan of work designed to make sure Nelson succeeds in uncertain times.

Most of this Annual Plan was signalled in last year’s Nelson Community Plan, so it is steady as we go for the majority of Council’s work. But, even in 12 months, projects can be delayed or advanced, new opportunities show up and conditions change, so updates are inevitable, which is why we need an Annual Plan.

Decisions following submissions on the draft Annual Plan

Rating categories

The rating categories were proposed to be changed this year. The Council contracted all affected property owners to expain the proposed changes.

A working party of Councillors was set up in 2008 and its findings recommended that the Urban Farmland category, which had a -10% differential, be removed as there are no longer market gardens within the urban area, making the category outdated. It also recommended removing the Small Holdings category, which also has a -10% differential and exemption from the stormwater charge, to provide equity with neighbouring residential properties. After considering submissions, Council decided to put the removal of the -10% differential on hold. The stormwater charge will be phased in over two years for small holdings west of Gentle Annie saddle and the Urban Farmland category will be removed.

The review also suggested introducing a third commercial category – Fringe Commercial – to cover the commercial ratepayers around the Central Business District (CBD) as those ratepayers receive some benefit from the CBD and should therefore contribute a share of the cost of running it. Council decided to do more work on the fringe commercial category before putting it out for feedback.

Sustainability on the rise

Council decided to allocate $100,000 to develop a Sustainability Strategy to make Nelson more resilient into the future. A specific Sustainability Plan will be implemented for Rugby World Cup 2011. Sustainability has become increasingly important to this Council and is the impetus behind a programme of practical actions to increase the resilience of our city. It will cover everything from pest control to protecting our economic wellbeing to encouraging more walking and cycling around town, which is healthy, cheap and fun.

A strategic city development plan is planned to build on Council’s asset management plans and the Nelson Urban Growth Strategy (NUGS ). The NUGS process worked out where growth and intensification could take place but it didn’t provide certainty about  the order of those identified areas as a staged approach. For more on the city development plan, go to the section on Environmental Management.

Council will fully fund the Eco Building Adviser Service, despite the withdrawal of Government’s share of the funding.

Investing in culture, heritage and the arts

In support of culture, heritage and the arts and among its other initiatives Council will provide base funding for the Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatu. Recognising the need to catch up on essential maintenance of the City’s art gallery, Council will provide a $100,000 grant toward this work in 2010/11. Council continues to support this Council Controlled Organisation because of its unique role in meeting the Nelson community’s goals, particularly its contribution towards creating a fun creative culture,  people friendly places and a strong economy. Council intends to work with the Bishop Suter Trust Board, which manages the Suter Art Gallery Te Aratoi o Whakatu, as it prepares its redevelopment plans.

This year, Council also plans to work with the Nelson Historic Theatre Trust to investigate a suitable governance and ownership structure for the Theatre Royal. Council decided to provide an additional $300,000 loan to enable the completion of the Theatre Royal so it can once again continue its long history of providing a performance venue to the Nelson community, as it has for over 130 years. This brings the total loan to $1.5 million, with repayments deferred until July 2011.

Planning for a major events venue

In late 2009, Council decided to determine the best means to move forward with a Performing Arts and Conference Centre (PACC) as part of this 2010 Annual Plan process. Council continues to review the options for a performing arts centre, conference centre or both.

The effect of the delayed PACC on this Annual Plan is that funding that had been allocated for it would now move out to later years, should it proceed, and the rates increase is lower this year than it would have been had work begun on building it.

Resource consent fees and charges

Council approved the resource consent fees and charges, which are available from Council’s customer service centre or on its website.

Updated development contributions policy

The draft Annual Plan included consultation on an updated Development Contributions Policy. Council approved the updated policy with some minor changes. It will be published both as a stand-alone policy and included in the current Nelson Community Plan. The updated policy provides for more equitable sharing of the costs of providing new infrastructure in response to population growth and new development.

Higher waste water costs

There is a significant increase in trade waste and waste water charges this year due to a combination of reasons. The main cause is the cost of the Nelson North treatment facility upgrade and associated operating costs and an increase in Nelson’s share of the Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit (NRSBU) facility at Bell Island. The value of the NRSBU’s asset was reassessed and because Council funds depreciation, which is money set aside towards the eventual replacement of assets, the costs of Council’s share in the facility have also risen. These costs are passed on to consumers through the waste water charges.

Another factor adding to costs is a reduction in volumes of waste water discharged so the unit cost goes up. This effect is most likely due to the combined effects of waste minimisation practices and the economic recession.

Trade waste charges have increased more than the waste water charge as their effluent is more concentrated so they pay a higher proportion of the more expensive treatment costs.

Wise use of waste water

Council decided to allocate $285,000 for an additional pipe from the Bell Island waste water treatment facility. This will keep options open for possible future use of treated waste water for irrigation in the Tahunanui area.

Other changes included in this Annual Plan

Council’s debt levels at 30 June 2010 were $74 million and by 30 June 2011 are now projected to be $113 million. These are both lower than the amounts forecast in the 2009 Nelson Community Plan, which were $85 million rising to $119 million, respectively.

Other key changes include:

  • Allocation of $146,000 towards design costs of the proposed Lee Valley Dam, which is a regional project
  • $35,000 will be put into a review of the policy on sealing rural roads
  • An additional $10,000 will be provided for Uniquely Nelson, which coordinates and promotes Nelson’s central business district
  • $6,000 will be spent on additional sealing of the new play area at The Glen. A small hard surface will be constructed at The Glen reserve to accommodate skateboard furniture for local children. The total cost including furniture has been estimated at $10,000
  • Due to the postponement in building the Cricket/Athletics pavilion at Saxton Field, $1.2 million will be carried over to the following 2011/12 financial year. $3.8 million has been allocated over 2011/12 and 2012/13 for a combined Athletics/Cricket/football pavilion at Saxton Field. Work will begin once the three sporting codes are assured of being able to raise 20% of the cost
  • Another $130,000, less a contribution from Tasman District Council, will be spent on improved drainage of the Saxton Field football grounds
  • A $25,000 loan will be provided for heating Melrose House
  • An additional $11,000 is to be provided for the contestable fund for heritage buildings, bringing the total available from $39,000 to $50,000
  • $100,000 is included to implement the Council’s review of its arms length organisations, should Council decide to proceed with investigating any of the detailed proposals.

Click to calculate your rates for 2010/11

Go to the rates web pages to work out your rates for 2010/11. All rates and charges are GST inclusive. If GST changes, the total charged would also change. If you don’t have internet access at home, you can access the Council website free of charge in the Nelson Public Libraries. You might need to book a PC if it’s busy.  Or you can ask at the Customer Services Centre in Civic House, or ring +64 3 546 0200.

Download the Annual Plan 2010-2011

Download the full copy of the Annual Plan 2010/11 (1.3MB PDF).

If you wish to get a copy elsewhere, you can pick one up at:

  • Nelson City Council, Civic House, 110 Trafalgar Street, Nelson
  • By phone +64 3 546 0200
  • Nelson Public Libraries

Download

annual-plan-2010-2011.pdf (pdf, 1.3 MB)