Tauranga City Council has signed off its budget for the next year without knowing whether any of it's $1 billion bid for Government Covid-19 economic stimulus funding will be successful.
Yesterday the council adopted it's Annual Plan 2020/21, including a 1.1 per cent average residential and 10.8 per cent commercial rates rise, that will apply retrospectively from July 1.
The budget included $258 million for capital projects and an operating spend of $277m.
The plan adoption was a month later than usual, delayed partly so the council could get more information about the impact of Covid-19 on its finances and understand what Government stimulus funding might be available.
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In April the council put 24 infrastructure projects - collectively totalling more than $1 billion - up for the Government's Crown Infrastructure Partners (CIP) economic stimulus process.
This was in response to a Government call for "shovel-ready" infrastructure projects that could help boost the economy.
In early June the council said it had been notified that 19 of those projects had made it through to the next round of Government consideration but as of yesterday it had no further confirmation.
On July 1, Finance Minister Grant Robertson and Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones unveiled how a $3b infrastructure fund would be allocated throughout the country.
A pot of $170m was set aside for the Bay of Plenty.
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To date, $55m of that has been announced for a roading and land development project in Rotorua .
Robertson told the Bay of Plenty Times the projects were being announced as quickly as possible once due diligence had been carried out.
"It is important that the projects are viable and offer the benefits stated by applicants."
Deputy Prime Minister Winston Peters and Under Secretary for Regional Economic Development Fletcher Tabuteau are scheduled to visit the Bay of Plenty today to make infrastructure funding and Provincial Growth Fund announcements but are not expected to visit Tauranga.
It was understood, however, that Government infrastructure funding announcements for Tauranga are on the horizon.
Yesterday, Tauranga mayor Tenby Powell said the council was not able to delay the Annual Plan any longer.
"We don't know where we stand on a range of CIP applications ... It would have been nice to have known but we are up against the clock here."
"I am conscious we are one of a number of cities and regions that need funding."
Powell said the council had been working to improve its relationship with Central Government.
"Those relationships don't happen overnight. Sometimes it feels like we are still sprinting to the start line."
Spends and saves
Yesterday Tauranga City Council confirmed a range of funding decisions made in response to community requests and feedback during Annual Plan deliberations earlier this month.
Some areas were cut and requests declined, while others were given a boost. Here are the top areas where the council decided to add spending, and three saves.
Top 5 spends
1. Adding a further $200,000 for investment in sustainability planning and delivery, bringing the total budget to $400,000.
2. $255,000 for bus shelters, upping the target for the year from 13 new shelters to 30.
3. $250,000 for improvements in the historic Monmouth Redoubt area.
4. $240,000 for improving Anzac Park
=5 $200,000 for options and feasibility work on the Memorial Park walkway proposal to inform a discussion during next year's Long-Term Plan
=5 $200,000 towards the sub-regional Kāinga Tupu homelessness strategy.
Top three saves
1. Decline to increase the Priority One budget by $130,000.
2. Reduce New Year's Eve funding from $494,000 to $400,000
3. Remove hanging baskets in the city centre at a saving of $79,000 in the coming year and $89,000 thereafter.