Long-term council plan includes new pool | News | Kawerau

Long-term council plan includes new pool

6 May 2015

A NEW swimming pool, a $150 increase to the uniform annual general charge and a town centre upgrade were the priorities in Kawerau District Council’s 2015-25 draft long-term plan.

Submissions to the draft, can be made until May 11.

The first key proposal highlighted in the consultation document is development of the Maurie Kjar Memorial Swimming pool complex.

Feedback on the complex in 2012 led to a decision to build new changing rooms and construction is under way now.

A splash pad for children and upgrade to the barbecue area is proposed in the draft for the 2015-16 year and estimated to cost $250,000.

This involves replacing the main barbecue area with two or three stand-alone, coin-operated barbecues, while the splash pad is described as a wet play area with fountains and other water toys.

During the 2012 consultation about the complex, the construction of a second pool was raised to relieve the pressure on the existing pool from a range of users.

In the draft 2015-25 plan consultation, the council asks submitters whether it should continue with plans to build a second pool and what size they would prefer.

The first option is a 25-metre pool, suitable for recreational and non-competitive users, it is estimated to cost $1.85 million and incur a rate increase of 3 percent, or $41 for the average residential property each year.

The second option is a 50-metre pool, which would provide a training and event facility for competitive swimming and cost $2.77 million.

This option would result in a 3.7 percent rate increase, which translates into an average rise of $52 each year.

An overhaul of the town centre is identified as the second key proposal in the draft plan.

Cobblestones in Jellicoe and Ranfurly courts are scheduled for replacement and ideas to improve the space include new and additional seating, and bollards.

Improvements to the promenade include repainting the concrete base, repairing and repainting the railing and improving the steps.

The total cost of the upgrade is $300,000 and is estimated to cost each residence $3 per year.

The final key proposal is an increase in the uniform annual general charge from $450 to $600 for all properties.

The impact of transferring more of the rate burden to a fixed charge reduces the portion of rates based on a property’s valuation.

For lower-valued properties, the $150 UAGC increase is greater than the reduction in valuation-driven rates, so the total rates bill will rise slightly.

For more expensive properties, the saving generated by the valuation-driven component is greater than $150 and the total bill drops slightly.

The draft also identifies four areas for strategic development: to make Kawerau accessible and age-friendly; healthy housing; tourism growth; and vibrant community life.

Other proposed expenditure includes an extra $20,000 for Woodfest and Christmas in the Park, another $22,000 annually to replace 200 metres of footpath, and $60,000 to employ two people for tree maintenance.

An extra $10,000 is proposed to identify parts of the stormwater network prone to flooding, $40,000 for storm and waste water pipe cleaning and inspections.

The budget for new library books is boosted by $7800 and an extra $10,000 is allocated to staff costs.

The town’s street lights are also marked for an upgrade to more cost-effective LED lights over three years, worth $100,000.

Consultation documents and submission forms are available from the council’s office and website.

The submissions close at noon on May 11 and oral submissions will be heard during an extraordinary council meeting on May 19.

Source: Whakatane Beacon