Porirua residents to pay for treats
Porirua residents are facing a 4.8 per cent rates rise, if the city council’s draft annual plan is given the green light.
However, there is a payoff, with a $500,000 splash pad, $12 million towards the city centre and an investment of $1m in a performing arts centre all features of the plan.
Balancing the budget and bringing debt down was important in the 2015-2025 draft plan, which was signed off last week, Porirua mayor Nick Leggett said. But rate increases were inevitable.
In the first year, residents could face a 4.8 per cent rate increase – about $124 more per year on a $381,000 property.
Leggett said having 74 per cent of the council’s revenue coming from rates, compared to the national average of 54 per cent, would always make budgeting difficult.
‘‘That’s a $13m difference in real terms and we have fewer ratepayers than might be expected for our population. Yet we provide the same levels of service and functions as other councils,’’ he said.
Leggett said getting the basics right without compromising on core infrastructure and services was a balancing act.
‘‘We want to ensure our young people can look forward to living in a city that plans for today, but with their future in mind, too.
‘‘ This has meant that the opportunity for significant social infrastructure investment is delayed until the end of the 10-year period of this plan.’’
Also in the draft plan is a new children’s priority that places the needs and aspirations of young people first.
Updating the Cobham Court area will cost $12m over the next three years, according to the draft plan.
The much-maligned Lyttelton Ave toilets will be shifted to Cobham Court, making the space more pedestrian friendly, and a final decision will be made on the Canopies being replaced.
A splash pad, similar to the one at Marine Gardens in Raumati Beach, has made it in again, two years after Pukerua Bay resident Elaine Thomsen put the idea to the council.
Specialised water play equipment, such as jets, water cannons and water buckets, will be built in 2016 or 2017, at a cost of $500,000.
The recent approach by Aotea College to partner with the council in a new auditorium that would serve the school and wider community has also been included in the draft plan.
Leggett said the council proposed to contribute $1m towards the facility in 2017-18.
The council will also consider live streaming of council meetings – at a cost of $65,000 in the next 12 months.
The public can comment on the draft plan until May 1.
Register to have your say online at haveyoursay.pcc.govt.nz.