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Groups publish submissions for TDC Draft Annual Plan

April 22nd, 2011
[by David Armstrong]

Two of Motueka's largest community and advocacy groups, Grey Power and Keep Motueka Beautiful, have prepared submissions that they will present to Tasman District Councillors at hearings about the 2011/12 Draft Annual Plan.

Grey Power focused on seven issues: the town's water supply, the Motueka River stopbanks reconstruction, the effect of targeted and uniform rating, the safety of curb crossings and footpaths, the Motueka Library enlargement, Community Board direct funding, and swimming pool planning. (Read the full submission here.)

They submit that for those majority of Motueka township residents with their own bores, the Coastal Water Supply project is one expense they can do without, especially as it is believed there is a sufficient source of water in the Tasman / Marriages Rd area to supply the future needs of Ruby Bay and Mapua.

"Our members, who in many cases are already struggling to pay their ever-increasing rates, would be hard-pressed by both the up-front and ongoing costs of this proposal no matter what the central government subsidy. We request that this project be deleted from the Annual and Ten Year Plans."

With regard to the stopbank reconstruction, Grey Power believes that recent events in Golden Bay and in Australia demonstrate the folly of assuming that nature can be controlled.

"We submit that the more complicated and ambitious proposals on offer are not realistic financially or practically. We would prefer to see energies directed at prevention of scouring of the present stopbanks, clearing of the riverbed of obstruction and the planning of a (much-needed) new bridge with wide spans that will not become jammed with debris in flood conditions."

Using some calculations based on current rating systems, Grey Power argued that a rating plan that benefits the majority (and even the above-average ratepayer) at the expense of some that are wildly more fortunate is fairer.

The submission proposes that the UAGC and other fixed, district-wide rates be scrapped and that income be collected as part of the General Rate via the QV system. "We also propose that TDC reverse their current budgeting trend which has targeted rates set to surpass the General Rate as a percentage of the average rates bill."

On footpaths and curbs, the submission claims that "if only half the hundreds and thousands of ratepayers dollars Engineering Services insisted on spending resealing Motueka car parks that did not need resealing, had been spent instead on repairing faulty footpaths and curb crossings, Motueka would be a safer place for pedestrians and those on mobility scooters and in wheelchairs."

Grey Power is pleased to find that $20 000 is to be made available to produce concept drawings for the proposed library enlargement, but says "if the $43,700 in this same budget, due to be spent on this useless Old Wharf on Motueka Quay, would be spent instead on the preparation of working drawings for the enlargement of the Motueka Library, the enlargement may occur earlier.

"We estimate that for every 1000 people who visit the Motueka Library, only one person will visit the Old Wharf. Already $4000 has been wasted on one consultant's report on it. Long-term residents confirm that only a small percentage of the wharf has suffered damage the last decades and we believe that the great majority of it will remain substantially as it is for many more decades."

Although Grey Power says it supports the proposed $4.34 per property (ex-GST) towards the Motueka Community Board having larger discretionary funds for local use, it also says that these minor works should be paid for from the current TDC budget.

"We propose that a real figure from the current budget for local maintenance and repair, with specific parameters public area maintenance, street cleaning, etc. in and around Motueka be placed under local control and put out to bid locally."

The Grey Power submission also commented on the $750,000 proposed spending for the coming year to produce working drawings and other plans for the multi-million dollar swimming pool project. "Our understanding is that the pool is to be built on land controlled by the Education Department and will be the property of the department if completed. We are being asked for steep increases all around, and three quarters of a million dollars in planning costs for a project that will not be a TDC asset is not reasonable."

Keep Motueka Beautiful's submission thanks TDC for "their generous support and advice over many years, especially for the continuing supply of DILs money", for the construction of about 7km of new walkways mostly along the Motueka shoreline and around the part of the Moutere Inlet between Wharf Rd and Old Wharf Rd.

"However," they say, "much of the funding that we receive from charitable organisations is tied to new works and cannot be used for maintenance. Our present calculations is that it costs about $1 per metre per year to maintain our 7km of walkways, mostly for weed spray, crusher dust resurfacing and vehicle running. We will be making an application requesting a Grant from Rates."

KMB requests the Link Park/York Park Walkway be placed in the Annual Plan. "A local benefactor has indicated a substantial financial donation may be provided for this work once a budget and approval for this work is provided."

KMB has also decided not to continue to provide the Motueka CBD with a Litter Cart Service unless they are provided with secure funding. They request that Council provide between $7,000 and $10,000 to maintain the service.

(Read KMB's full submission here.)

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