Thursday 21 May 2015
Council finishes Long Term Plan decision making
process resulting in an overall rates rise of 3.18%
Clutha District Councillors today
finished making decisions about the proposed Long Term Plan 2015/25 at the
last of two scheduled meetings.
Following a month long consultation
process that resulted in 358 submissions, a day of verbal hearings and
several requests for additional funding Council have made a wide range of
decisions about the 10-year plan.
Today's decisions by Council included:
budget of $2.63 million in 2015/16 to seal the Nuggets Road, but this
is subject to financial assistance from the New Zealand Transport Agency
of about $1.6 million.
$600,000 budget for Stage 2 of the Balclutha Main Street upgrade to
cover any additional work that was raised during the streetscape
consultation with the community, but that didn’t fit within the initial
the opportunity for community groups to discuss with Council the future
ownership and operation of the Kaitangata Swimming Pool so a decision
can be made before 1 November. Councillors decided that unless the
community can take over the pool, it will not re-open for the 2015/16
season. The decision recognises the submissions from the community
stating they needed more information about the practicalities of owning
and operating a community pool.
Confirming the fees and charges increases including the $1 swimming
charge increase and the building consent charge increases.
Earlier this week Council voted on the
key issues in the consultation document, including:
Phasing-in a 'same service-same charge' approach to urban water services
over a six year period which will see all communities paying the same
amount for water services. Currently different rating communities
pay different amounts for their water, stormwater and sewerage services.
This is a longer phase-in period than the three years that was presented
as an option in the consultation document.
spending on local sealed roads and target investment towards roads that
have the most economic significance.
on growing the rating base and bringing the draft
Economic and Development and
Living and Working
strategies back to Council for final approval.
Provision was also made for:
$1200 annual grant to the Clutha District Emergency Services Trust to
help fund a caravan that is deployed in emergencies.
additional $10,000 for operating costs for the Clutha District Combined
Museums bringing their grant to $88,000 for the next three years. This
does not include provision for an increase in funding for the South
Otago Historical Society's curator position.
grant to the Papatowai Rural Fire Force towards extending the existing
fire station in Papatowai.
increase to the Cross Recreation Centre's operating grant for the next
to the Otago Rural Fire Authority (for rural fire tanker replacements)
of $85,000 in 2015/16 and $174,250 in 2016/17. To be loan funded over a
10 year period.
The above decisions mean an overall rates rise for
the 2015/16 year of 3.18%, a slight increase on the 2.54% initially proposed
in the Long Term Plan and an overall rates rise of 3.38% for 2016/17 and
3.02% for 2017/18.
Mayor Bryan Cadogan said the submission process
highlighted a number of projects Council decided were worthy of inclusion.
"But, as always the overall increase of 3.18%
doesn't reflect the individual variances throughout the different rating
Mr Cadogan said he would like to take this
opportunity to thank all those who took the time to become involved in the
process and have their say on the future of our district.
"It was pleasing to see the number of submissions
virtually doubled from the last Long Term Plan in 2012."
The proposed Long Term Plan will now be audited and
formally adopted by Council at a meeting on 18 June 2015.
Tuesday 19 May 2015
Council begins Long Term Plan decision making
Clutha District Councillors today (19 May) began to
make decisions about the proposed Long Term Plan 2015/25 at the first of two
Following a month long consultation process that
resulted in 358 submissions and a day of verbal hearings, Council made a
range of decisions about the 10-year plan including on the key consultation
issues of water services, roads and growth.
Council voted to phase-in a 'same service-same
charge' approach to urban water services over a six year period which will
see all communities paying the same amount for water services. Currently
different rating communities pay different amounts for their water,
stormwater and sewerage services. This is a longer phase-in period than the
three years that was presented as an option in the consultation document.
Council also voted to reduce spending on local
sealed roads and target investment towards roads that have the most economic
support from submitters, Council agreed to focus on growing the rating base
and voted that the draft Economic and
Living and Working
strategies be brought back to Council for adoption as final strategies.
Provision was also made for:
A $1200 annual
grant to the Clutha District Emergency Services Trust to help fund a caravan
that is deployed in emergencies.
$10,000 for operating costs for the Clutha District Combined Museums
bringing their grant to $88,000 for the next three years. This does not include provision for an increase in
funding for the South Otago Historical Society's curator position.
A $10,000 grant to
the Papatowai Rural Fire Force towards extending the existing fire station
An increase to the
Cross Recreation Centre's operating grant from $20,000 to $30,00 for the next three years.
Funding to the
Otago Rural Fire Authority (for rural fire tanker replacements) of $85,000
in 2015/16 and $174,250 in 2016/17. To be loan funded over a 10
Council will meet for further deliberations and
decisions on Thursday 21 May 2015 at 9am, before the proposed Long Term Plan
is audited and formally adopted by Council at a meeting on 18 June 2015.
More information about decisions and the impact on
rates will be available following the 21 May Council meeting.
Tuesday 31 March 2015
have your say - Clutha District Council's proposed 10 year plans will be out
for public consultation next week.
Clutha District Council's proposed plans for the next 10 years will be out
for public consultation from 7 April 2015 giving residents and
ratepayers a month to make submissions and tell Council what they think.
new legislative requirements, for the first time Council has created a
magazine-style consultation document that residents should find easy to
understand and interesting to read.
Your Community Your Council Your
future 2015-2025, it will be mailed out to
all ratepayers in the district, as well as being available on Council's
website, at Council service centres, libraries and also local businesses.
outlines over the medium to long term what Council aims to achieve for the
district, some of the projects it intends to deliver and the costs of
providing them. It also includes a submission form for people to provide
questions we are asking include:
Should we increase rates to maintain current standards for local sealed
roads OR reduce spending and target investment on roads with the biggest
Should customers pay for urban water, sewerage and stormwater charges
depending on the community they live in, or should a 'same service same
charge' be phased in?
Do you support Council's focus on future proofing the district, and aiming
to grow the rating base?
We're also encouraging feedback about rates.
Bryan Cadogan said it was an opportunity to look at what Council is planning
for the future and if we're getting it right for our residents and
cannot stress enough the significance of these issues for our district, so
please make sure to tell us your views."
of community-specific issues were also included in the consultation document
such as sealing the Nuggets Road and the future of the Kaitangata Swimming
Mayor Cadogan said he intended once again to visit
each rating community for a 'soapbox' session to give people an opportunity
to have their say.
"The proposed changes will impact on people's rates
bills, so households need to think about what the changes would mean to them
and to the district."
The soapboxes will be
held in Clinton, Tapanui and Lawrence on 11 April, Waihola and Milton on 12
April, Balclutha, Stirling and Kaitangata on 18 April and Kaka Point and
Owaka on 19 April.
Council will also be consulting on a range of other
strategies and policies including the proposed Economic Development
Strategy, Living and Working Strategy, Revenue and Financing Policy, Policy
on Remission of Rates, Policy on Remission and Postponement of Rates of
Maori Freehold Land, Policy on Financial Contributions and Proposed Schedule
of Fees and Charges 2015/16.
Public submissions close on Thursday 7 May 2015.
Thursday 26 March 2015
Contract awarded for to seal the Cross Recreation
Clutha District Council has awarded the construction
contract for the sealing of the Cross Recreation Centre carpark, associated
drainage work and line marking.
Council accepted the tender from Southroads for the
price of $171,000+GST, which was 4.7% below the engineer's pre-tender
Four tenders were received for this work, ranging
from the Southroads price up to $227,000+GST.
District Assets Manager Jules Witt said the cost was
22% above the 2014/15 budget, but Council had approved that this additional
$28,000 would be funded through a small increase in the rating requirement.
The impact of this on projected rates ranged from an
additional 30 cents for Balclutha households to their annual amount of $2.36
they pay for the centre, down to an annual 3 cents increase for West Otago
households to the 24 cents they pay a year.
Mr Witt said during last year's annual plan process
the proposed sealing of the carpark attracted 152 submissions and well as
petitions with more than 450 signatures in support of the project.
"The message from the community was seal the parking
area and doing so will help increase the life of the centre's playing
surface by reducing the amount of dirt and grit that it dragged inside on a
Work is expected to start in early April after the
Wednesday 25 March 2015
Contract awarded for Balclutha main street upgrade
Clutha District Council has awarded the main
construction contract for the upgrade of Balclutha's main street.
Council now expect the work to get underway sometime
Mayor Bryan Cadogan said this was a watershed day
for the district after a generation of debating what to do with Balclutha's
"We expect this will be a catalyst for further
positive development in the area. We have a prosperous and
beautiful district and, after this work, we will have a main street that
Fulton Hogan was awarded the Balclutha Streetscape
Upgrade contract for a price of $2.3 million.
Two tenders were received for this work, which were
$2.3million and $2.9 million.
The successful tender was 23% over the engineer's
District Assets Manager Jules Witt said the tender
was above the engineer's estimate, but Council was confident the first stage
could still be done within the funds set aside for the project.
This was helped by the New Zealand Transport Agency
confirming a contribution of $200,000 towards the street lighting, he said.
The first stage of work includes the upgrade of the
main street running between George and Renfrew Streets and the work planned
for the Elizabeth Street town heart and the John Street intersection.
It's expected to be completed by the end of November
Council considers this a critical project and will
be closely monitoring it throughout its construction stages, including
keeping the wider community informed and in particular the affected business
Tuesday 3 March 2015
Water Supply for the North Bruce Rural Water Scheme
As of Tuesday, March 3, the raw water reservoir for
the North Bruce Scheme had risen 2,100 mm or just over 2 metres since its
low-level on 20 February and was expected to be at full capacity by
This follows numerous minor leaks on the scheme
being fixed and rainfall, which would have helped the inflows into the pond
and reduced scheme demand.
This means the conserve water notice issued last
month for the scheme has been lifted, although the normal 'Stage One -
Summer Mode' water restrictions are still currently in effect for the entire
District Assets Manager Jules Witt said that all
leaks were all repaired promptly or isolated after being reported.
He said the next step was to investigate how this
situation could be avoided in the future and discuss possible options
with the North Bruce Rural Water Scheme committee.
Mr Witt said the cooperation from customers was
Tuesday 24 February 2015
Resident Survey Results for 2015
Resident satisfaction with the majority of council
services increased over the past year, according to the latest results of
the Clutha District Council Resident Survey for 2014.
The telephone survey was conducted between 28
October and 19 November last year (2014) and resulted in 300 residents
giving their views about how satisfied they were with various council
Senior Policy Analyst Larissa Brown said most
services had a satisfaction rating of more than 75%. Topping the list again,
with the near perfect score of 99%, was library services, closely followed
by service/information centres which increased slightly from 96 to 98%.
Swimming pools had the biggest improvement in
satisfaction levels jumping by 9% from a score of 59% in 2013 to 68%.
Mrs Brown said this was thought to reflect
improvements relating to Balclutha's pool temperature.
At the other end of the scale, services which
residents thought showed room for improvement included the maintenance level
of local unsealed, gravel roads which had a satisfaction score of 52%,
although this was still a 3% improvement on 2013.
Council faces significant challenges for roading
over the next few years.
On the one hand the survey shows us there are
expectations around wanting better maintenance of gravel roads. However, on
the other, central government will provide less funding assistance for these
roads in the near future.
"As a consequence, Council is working towards a
proposal that instead of maintaining all unsealed roads to current
standards, the focus will be on targeting funding towards the roads with the
biggest economic benefit to the district."
Footpaths had satisfaction score of 59% and were the
service that showed the biggest drop in satisfaction levels from 2013 to
2014, falling by 12%.
"The most common feedback included having more
footpaths in towns and uneven footpaths that some people found difficult to
walk on," Mrs Brown said.
Footpaths are in a much better condition than they
were in 2006 thanks to the Council's upgrading programme, however around 6%
or nearly 8km of the footpath network is still in poor condition.
Council is proposing to renew these areas over about the next ten years.
Mrs Brown thanked all those who took part in the
survey as the information it provided was an important tool to help Council
make informed decisions.
Survey 2014 report can be viewed online
Monday 23 February 2015
Water Supply for the North Bruce Rural Water Scheme
As of Monday morning the water reservoir had gained
600 millimetres in depth.
That equates to 1.1 million litres of water (or
1,100 cubic metres of water) and it is now 58% full.
This follows minor leaks being fixed on the scheme
and some significant rainfall over the weekend which would have reduced
demand and increased inflow into the pond.
District Assets Manager Jules Witt said Council
staff were still working to identify any outstanding problems and if the
situation with the pond continued to improve, Council would review the water
use restrictions at the end of the week.
Mr Witt said cooperation from customers was greatly
appreciated and urged people to notify Council about any possible leaks or
unusual water usage by ringing 0800 801-350 or the Milton Service Centre on
Thursday 19 February 2015
Water Supply Critically Low for the North Bruce
Rural Water Scheme
Water supply for the North Bruce Rural Water Scheme
is running critically low, this affects all customers on the scheme, which
supplies farms and households from Lovells Flat to Waihola, including
Berwick and Tokoiti.
Urgent reductions in demand are required to avoid
widespread water outages in the near future.
This means any unnecessary water use by those on the
scheme such as watering gardens and cleaning cars is now prohibited until
Farmers are also urged to check on-farm supplies for
any leaks and turn-off any systems that are not critical.
Clutha District Council's District Assets Manager
Jules Witt said the raw water level in the reservoir is critically low and
it is suspected there is a major leak somewhere on the scheme that is
compounding the problem.
Council contractors and staff are working hard
around the scheme to identify what is causing these problems and
investigating areas of high demand.
Mr Witt said cooperation from customers is greatly
appreciated and he urged people to notify Council about any possible leaks
or unusual water usage by ringing 0800 801-350 or the Milton Service Centre
on 03 417-8109.
Friday 23 January 2015
Balclutha Centennial Swimming Pool Closing for
Maintenance & Change of Weekend Hours
The Balclutha Centennial Swimming Pool will close
for two days from 9 am on Wednesday 4 February and all day
Thursday 5 February.
The pool will re-open again on Waitangi Day, 6
February, from 10 am until 4.30pm.
Weekend hours will also revert back from 7 February
to 1pm - 4.30pm for Saturdays and from 10.30am until midday & 1pm - 4.30pm
Clutha District Council Corporate Services Manager
Alan Dickson said the brief shut down was so a water meter and other plant
maintenance work could be carried out to make the filtration system run more
Mr Dickson said the dates had been chosen to cause
the least disruption to pool users, with the school year having started
again by then.
Council regrets any inconvenience caused to members
of the public wanting to use the pool on those days, but the maintenance
work needs to be done to ensure continued reliable operation of the pool, Mr
The pool has been running well and without any major
temperature problems since re-opening in September following its annual
shutdown period over winter, during which upgrades were made to the water
Monday 19 January 2015
Balclutha Main Street Upgrade Closer to
Balclutha's main street upgrade is now in its last stage of preparation with
the detailed design, drawings and specifications needed for the tender
document being finalised.
Council expects to advertise for tenders to carry out this final phase of
the project on 31 January.
Manager District Assets Jules Witt said a three-week
tender period should mean a tender could be awarded by mid-March.
He said considerable work had been done to get to
this point of construction.
"It's exciting to think construction work on the
main street may be able to start at the earliest by the end of March,
especially after all the hard work and energy that has gone into the
While construction could start as early as the end
of March, the tender does provide for an alternative later start date of
late May or early June if substantial savings could be made by
construction companies working outside the peak construction period.
Mayor Bryan Cadogan said that, like everyone else,
he was keen to see the project start.
"We have waited so long for this day but it is
imperative we get the timing right, so the disruption to businesses on the
main street is balanced against the optimal period for construction and
potential savings in tender prices."
"We are only going to get 'one shot' at this and our
overriding responsibility is to get the best value for the ratepayer money
being spent. So, while delays may be frustrating, it will be worth it in the
end," Mayor Cadogan said.
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