CHB council first to adopt long-term plan
CHB District Council formally adopted its long-term plan with no new changes last week, the first territorial authority in the country to do so.
Now due to come into effect on July 1, the 2018-28 LTP was adopted in a unanimous vote at last Thursday's full council meeting.
Council had previously announced that it had scrapped a contentious proposed districtwide water charge to fund 5 per cent of the $30 million of investment needed over the next decade for drinking water, wastewater and stormwater.
Instead it will retain the current funding structure and continue to only charge targeted rates for those connected to the water and wastewater network.
But council intends to spend up to $15,000 on a rating review over the next 12 to 18 months once all information about drinking water requirements in light of the Havelock North Inquiry is known, and once an investigation into CHB's two main wastewater plants is completed.
In the meantime, council said rate rises would be in line with the long-term plan document, which includes rises of $450 over the next three years for some ratepayers.
Although council had until June 30 to adopt the plan, chief executive Monique Davidson said becoming the first council to adopt its LTP meant planning could commence on key projects, including water infrastructure. Mayor Alex Walker was very pleased by the decision to adopt the LTP early.
“Now the hard work begins to deliver on the plan – a bold and ambitious work programme that sets out to ensure as a community we have got the basics right, while creating an environment for social and economic development”.
In another decision, the council resolved to contribute $10,000 to become a member and financial guardian of Biodiversity Hawke's Bay, which plans to build a $10m endowment fund within 10 years that would, in perpetuity, provide funding for a naturerich future for the region.