Hamilton City Council is specifically seeking the community’s views on nearly $150 million worth of projects to help shape its 2021-31 draft Long-Term Plan.
Council has released its 2021-31 draft Long-Term Plan Consultation Document, which outlines key plans proposed for the next 10 years and how these will be funded.
The draft Long-Term Plan is based on Council’s five priorities for Hamilton Kirikiriroa:
- a city that’s easy to live in
- a city where our people thrive
- a central city where people love to be
- a fun city with lots to do
- a green city.
The priorities reflect feedback from Hamiltonians about what they love about their city and what could make it even better.
The draft Long-Term Plan proposes to spend $3.7 billion over 10 years on the ‘everyday’ costs of running the city. These include making sure rubbish and recycling is collected, maintaining roads and footpaths, and keeping our sports parks ready to play on.
There’s also $2.5 billion of proposed capital funding to look after existing assets (like playgrounds and footpaths), build new infrastructure (like roads and water pipes) and for new community projects (like libraries and parks).
The Consultation Document asks for feedback on 11 projects that total $146.65 million of proposed spending or revenue:
- Providing more safer routes for biking, scooting and skating by investing $55 million over the next 10 years
- $3 million to upgrade the Gordonton Road/Puketaha Road intersection in 2021/22
- $11 million to upgrade the Borman Road/Horsham Downs Road intersection in 2024/25
- $5 million to expand Hillcrest Library in 2027/28
- Set up a creative sector funding trial of $100,000 for three years
- $11 million towards a new walking and cycling bridge over the Waikato River from the central city
- Introduce paid commuter parking around the fringe of the central city to generate $1.6 million of revenue to fund alternative transport initiatives
- $3 million to build a new jetty at Hamilton Gardens in 2026-28
- Charge $5 for cars and $20 for tour buses to park at Hamilton Gardens to generate $500,000 for improved services and facilities
- Increase recreational swim space by spending $6 million to build a seasonal dome over the outdoor pool at Waterworld in 2023
- $29 million to restore and improve our gullies.
Some projects up for consultation are totally new initiatives that haven’t been put to the public before, such as the creative sector match funding trial. Others are projects that stirred up the most debate around the Council table during draft Long-Term Plan deliberations in December, so Elected Members have opted to seek the community’s input.
Hamilton Mayor Paula Southgate is adamant the community can have their say on any project in the draft Long-Term Plan, funded or unfunded, “or any aspect of Council business whatsoever”.
“The people of Hamilton Kirikiriroa have already had more input into this Long-Term Plan than they ever have before, in terms of helping us set the priorities. Your Councillors have listened to what you’ve told us about what makes Hamilton a great place to live and your aspirations for our city. Now we want to know if we’ve got it right with our draft Long-Term Plan and what we are prioritising”.
“We can’t do everything, nor can we do it all at once. Every decision we’ve made has considered Council’s financial challenges and affordability for ratepayers. I’m now urging people to have their say before we make final decisions in June this year.”
The community is also being asked for their views on Council’s financial strategy, which proposes an increase to the debt-to-revenue limit, balancing the books in 2024/25 and an average 8.9% rates increase in 2021/22 for existing ratepayers.
This is made up of a 4.4% average increase to the general rate, and also includes the introduction of a compliance targeted rate to cover rising costs as a result of legislation introduced by central government to deliver water services and to make changes to the District Plan. This is equivalent to a 4.5% average rates increase.
Alongside the draft Long-Term Plan, Council also wants to hear from the community about proposed changes to the following policies: Development Contributions, Growth Funding, and Revenue and Financing.
The Consultation Document goes to Council for adoption on 25 February. If adopted at that meeting, consultation will run from 5 March to 7 April 2021.
Residents can have their say by visiting futurehamilton.co.nz, by picking up a hardcopy consultation document at any Council facility, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or messaging our Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn pages.
Council staff and Elected Members will also be out and about across the city during the consultation period to hear from Hamiltonians.