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Regional Council considers Annual Plan projects

Thursday, 9 June 2011 2:45 p.m.

Bay of Plenty Regional Council has included a number of funding requests to its Annual Plan budget and referred others to its Ten Year Plan process for further consideration following public deliberations this week.                                                     

The Council has agreed to fund a one-off $600,000 amount from reserves to cover the additional cost of local authority insurance premiums as a result of the Christchurch earthquakes and following flood damage to the region's river schemes during the past year. The funding will relieve the rates burden on flood scheme targeted rates and the general rate.

An additional $2.3 million loan for capital works on the region's major river schemes was agreed to cover additional works as a result of flooding. The interest will result in an increase in targeted and general rates to service the loans.

Another $1.8 million is to go towards the Judea Link package for Tauranga's Southern Pipeline, an additional $116,000 from reserves towards the Little Waihī sewerage scheme and $100,000 towards a pilot iwi secondment programme to build iwi capability.

Cost savings have been made through efficiencies in the Council's vehicle costs ($100,000), organisational planning and reporting ($150,000) and information technology costs ($150,000).

 Other items to be included in the Annual Plan to be approved later this month include: 

  • $100,000 to cover the cost of additional growth management work in the region, including a review of the SmartGrowth Strategy next year and spatial planning implications.
  • $60,000 from reserves to contribute to the cost of Rotorua's Paradise Valley sewerage scheme.
  • $65,000 to improve access to the Kaimai Mamaku Forest Park.
  • $20,000 to fund two summer students from Manaaki Taha Moana to collect and analyse samples from Tauranga moana to help determine the biological health of the harbour. Another request from Manaaki Taha Moana for $11,666 for office space was declined.

 Items referred to the Ten Year Plan process for further consideration were: 

  • A request for $4 million from the Home of Cycling, a trust set up to drive a bid for a world-class cycling facility in the Bay of Plenty and Waikato.
  •        Requests from several organisations covering environmental education work. These included a request from Tauranga Environment Centre for $72,000 for the Regional Council to become a core funder, from Surf Lifesaving NZ for $10,000 and Eastern Coastguard for funding support for communication and education resources.
  • A request for $60,000 from Bowentown Boating and Sport Fishing Club for dredging and maintenance. The Council will consider Tauranga harbour and dredging channels throughout the region.
  • A request for $35,000 per annum for five years from Western Bay of Plenty District Council to offset a rates increase for the Maketū-Little Waihī sewerage scheme. Development of a hardship policy for the whole region will be considered.
  • Implementing an interest-free loan system to ensure home insulation across the region.

 Not included in the Annual Plan were:

  • $90,000 from three Chambers of Commerce for funding for a regional economic capability strategy and development proposal and implementation.
  • Colours of Life for $10,000 funding for an environmental and heritage education resource at Brookfield, Tauranga.
  • A change to the current funding split for monitoring water takes from Federated Farmers.

 The Annual Plan goes to the full Council for final adoption on Thursday, 23 June.

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