‘Working on what matters’ is the focus of Napier’s proposed Long Term Plan (LTP), as councillors look to adopt the LTP 2021-31 consultation document at its meeting on Thursday. The LTP is essentially a budget that sets out the projects and activities that Council will focus on over the coming 10 years and demonstrates how it will be paid for.
“It’s been a tough few years since we did our last Long Term Plan, with challenges at a local, national and international level. Due to this, everyone’s priorities may be quite different to what they were three years ago. Ours certainly are,” says Napier Mayor Kirsten Wise.
“It’s no secret that like many other cities, Napier is struggling with issues. Historically, we have prioritised keeping our rates low, but it has come at a cost. We are now grappling with ageing infrastructure, outdated systems and increasingly stringent standards.”
Mayor Wise says her team is committed to making things right for Napier.
“We are taking bold but necessary steps. We have already taken a hard look at our spending and projects to decide what is in and what is out. Our priority is to deliver the essentials, look after what we’ve got and invest in our future. It’s clear that we have a lot of work ahead of us to bring our water supply system up to standard.”
She says about half of Council’s capital projects spend over the next 10 years is for water services.
Council’s proposals in the LTP will result in an average rates increase of 8% for 2021/22, with further rises each year over Council’s 10-year plan. Most of this 8% is made up of extra costs for waste services, general cost increases, and externally driven costs like increasing insurance and government charges.
“We’re committed to keeping our rates as affordable as we can, but at the same time we know our community expects us to deliver the essentials well,” says Mayor Wise.
“We’ve had to make some tough calls on what can be done. We’ve moved some projects out a few years to save money, and we’re also looking to borrow to catch up on renewals and replacement of our key assets.”
“We are also very aware of some serious incidents that have played out in our public places and we know that people are feeling less safe out and about. We’ve included a focus on community safety as part of our proposed plan” says Mayor Wise.
Other proposals in the LTP include the development of Ahuriri Regional Park; the development of Te Pihinga community facility in Maraenui; how Council’s housing service should be funded; operation of the Faraday Centre; and traffic safety plans.
Napier’s LTP consultation opens on Monday 12th April and closes on Wednesday 12th May
7 April 2021
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