Compiled by Pauline Stewart.
Budget day for the nation was Thursday, 18 May and Friday afternoon our Thames
Coromandel District Council sent out, via their e-newsletter, their own budget
decisions. What follows are extracts from that newsletter and the relevant documents
concerning actual figures. Our Councillors made some tough decisions during Annual Plan deliberations on 17 May. They focused on “how we can re-prioritise our work programme, so we can rebuild and make our district resilient to the more frequent extreme weather and effects of
There are a number of differences for our proposed Annual Plan, compared to what was
set out in year three of the Long term Plan. From Mayor Len, Friday 19 May 2023:
• We have re-directed the allocation of Community Boards Grants funding from
Contestable to Discretionary. The total budget available has been reduced in line with our need to achieve savings across the board - $160,500 across the district.
• The process for community groups will be simpler with more direct engagement at Community Board level. Our Economic Development team will be supporting Community Groups to help access alternative funding sources which takes some of the pressure off ratepayer and council budgets.
• New Kerbside rubbish services, starting on 1 September. We had mixed opinions among our Council, but have endorsed Option 2. This is the pre-paid, Pay As You Throw system costing $8, including GST, per 140L bin empty and a targeted solid waste rate increase of 76 percent. For me,
this was my favoured option, as it gave us the right balance between accommodating
both our resident and non-resident ratepayers.
• ….we have to create some space in our next financial year’s budget to get things like our roads fixed - and prepare for the inevitable future large-scale weather events.
• So with some further financial reforecasting and modelling - and with your feedback -
we’ve reshaped our capital and operation expenses further, and we’re now looking at a final average rate increase of 11.6 percent. See the full report on the TCDC website.
Each of the Wards has its own separate budget and these can be found on TCDC website.
What is set out here are aspects of the district budget that effect all of us or that require the management of TCDC and not Community Boards. It is recommended that ratepayers who can’t access these ask for copies from TCDC Council offices.
A few notes and the figures above set out some of the major expenditure items. Remember we are a Peninsula with a permanent resident population of around 30,000.
Staff: There is no inclusion in the figures presented in the Link, for Staff costs. These are undoubtedly there but The Informer could not see their allocation.
Wastewater: The Pollen Street -infrastructure upgrade has been deferred t 23/24 (($2,114,823) There is clear evidence that TCDC has had to make some hard decisions deferring important work to next year or making huge reductions on what they were planning to do Eg: Matarangi Treatment Plant Upgrade reducing $2,891,070 to $470,000 and Hahei totally deferred to 23/24. Whitianga rising main allocated in 22/23 will now be done in 23/24($491,765).
Water: drinking water upgrades and the process to oversee that has received more in the budget than projected.
Roading: There could never be enough money in any single year budget to address the roading even with the injection of Central government funding for the Highways and a decent percentage of the Council roads.
TAPU - COROGLEN ROAD DELAYS
Formation of a new, much larger slip above the existing under slip on the Tapu-Coroglen Road has caused work on a temporary diversion around the under slip to be put on hold for safety reasons. There are concerns that further excavation to create a temporary diversion route may cause this new slip to collapse onto the road.
Additional geotechnical investigations are being completed in the next week with a view to re-designing the temporary works if possible. These will also inform the design of the permanent works for repair that are now being reviewed to see if they can be brought forward to permanently reopen the road ahead of the anticipated date of December 2023. In the interim, the Tapu-Coroglen Road will remain closed until further notice.
Motorists are reminded to obey the signage and barriers preventing vehicles driving through this closed section of the Tapu-Coroglen Road. The risks of slips and/or collapse are real.
Brophy's Beach boat ramp has been repaired and improved in the wake of recent storms, thanks to the work of TCDC. Better news soon for the Robinson Road boat ramp? (See letter to the Editor section).
Caption: Brophy's Beach Boat ramp - credit to Stephen Holmes.
Caption: Some Budget figures.