Hamilton City Council met yesterday as it prepares its Annual Plan 2019/20, with key decisions including a move for i-SITE, changes to the city’s development contributions policy and the retention of the city’s free parking trial.
The below summary is not the official minutes – agenda information and minutes are available on the Council’s website at Hamilton.govt.nz/agendas.
Hamilton i-SITE review:
Hamilton’s i-SITE will shift to the ArtsPost building.
The shift to the ArtsPost operation means iSITE will have a presence on Hamilton’s Victoria St – close to Waikato Museum, one of the city’s main visitor attractions.
Timing of the switch is still to be worked through. It will not impact on the operation of ArtsPost.
Development Contributions Policy
The Council will seek public feedback on updates to its Development Contributions (DC) Policy.
Proposed changes include re-phasing the CBD remission to extend the period in which developers will pay reduced charges, introducing a capped (and lower) charge for DCs for industrial, commercial and retail development in Rotokauri, adding some further capital projects with a growth component into the calculations for DCs, reviewing estimated costs from the last financial year (replacing them with actual costs where these are known), and changing some definitions in the policy.
Public consultation on the updates will be open from Monday 8 April 2019 to Sunday 28 April 2019.
Free parking trial
The trial of a free parking initiative to support revitalisation of the central city will be extended until 30 June 2020.
The trial, offering two-hours free parking in the city’s on-street metered and pay and display parking, began in 2017 and was extended through the city’s 10-Year Plan last year.
The free parking provides up to two hours in total per car per day and is endorsed by the Hamilton Central Business Association (HCBA). On-street interviews undertaken by the Council and a survey conducted by the HCBA showed strong support for continuing the trial, seen as one of the factors supporting renewed growth and consumer spending in the central city.
The trial will be extended until 30 June 2020 and staff will report back to the Council on the progress of the trial by April 2020, ahead of the 2020/21 Annual Plan.
Annual Plan 2019/20 – budget changes
Council approved the draft Annual Plan budget. The year’s budget includes an additional $1 million in capital funding for the seismic strengthening of Council properties.
The draft budget is consistent with the Council’s financial strategy and will see the average rates increases remaining at 3.8% in 2019/20.
River Plan Task Force update
The Council confirmed including $200,000 of operating funding to develop an updated 20-Year Vision for the central city and provide sufficient detail on public projects to form the Counicl’s next 10-Year Plan (2021-31).
Fees and charges
Council approved the proposed 2019/20 fees and charges. There are no significant changes being proposed.
The Council unanimously approved a staff recommendation to award Contract 18392 to Meridian Energy for a period of three years, with an Approved Contract Sum of $17,500,000. The Council also unanimously approved Contract 18291 to Contact Energy for a period of three years, with an Approved Contract Sum of $3,000,000. The contracts, to deliver electricity across all Council sites, run from 1 July 2019 to 30 June 2022.
Cleaning services contracts
The Council endorsed an amended motion to award Contract 17498 Cleaning Services to OCS Ltd for a period of five years beginning 1 July 2019 and ending 30 June 2024. The contract will be increased from the initial Approved Contract Sum of $10,500,000 to $10,800,000 (an increase of $300,000), to enable the remuneration of cleaning services staff to be aligned with Hamilton City Council’s minimum wage policy. The cleaning contract will cover 22 operational buildings and 59 public toilets.