Rotorua Lakes Council's proposed 2018-28 Long-term Plan will soon open for public feedback - with topics such as the Aquatic Centre and Rotorua Museum on the table for discussion.

"A consultation document that will be the basis for community engagement and input into the Long-term Plan (LTP) has been endorsed by the full council this week and we look forward to getting feedback from the community," Rotorua mayor Steve Chadwick said in a council press release.

"Our district's 2030 vision established with the community in 2013 established long-term goals and last year's vision refresh, The Rotorua Way, has outlined the next chapter in our journey. This LTP is about adding the "colour" to the direction set to invest in Rotorua's ongoing progress. What's proposed has been carefully considered by elected members.

"The consultation document includes some matters we want feedback on and other work and projects already being progressed but part of the bigger picture and included for information only. Community consultation and engagement begins next week and we want to hear from people of all ages from all our neighbourhoods, communities and sectors.

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"This is an important plan which affects everybody and we want to know if people agree with what we've proposed to support the direction already set."

Consultation opens next Monday, March 5, and closes April 13.

The council said the plan proposed capital investment of $481.3m across the 10 years of the LTP and was based around four key areas: Reviving our facilities; Environmental sustainability; Promoting, and positioning ourselves for, growth; and Keeping the foot on progress.

Matters for consultation
•Aquatic Centre
•Rotorua Museum
•Proposed Tarawera wastewater scheme
•Extension of waste collection services to currently un-serviced rural areas
•Who should contribute to infrastructure needed for growth
•Lakefront redevelopment proposal
•Whakarewarewa Forest/Te Ara Ahi cycleway extension
•Kuirau Park developments
•Housing challenges – Pensioner housing
•Proposed new council-controlled organisation (CCO) – Urban development company
•Financial strategy

Matters for information only
•Sir Howard Morrison Performing Arts Centre
•Rotorua Stadium
•Out of the forest/wastewater treatment plan upgrade
•Rotoiti/Rotoma/Rotoehu
•Mamaku sewerage
•Infrastructure strategy
•Community and neighbourhood revitalisation

Financials

The LTP had a major focus on reinvestment in current infrastructure and investing in new infrastructure. About 80 per cent of proposed increased borrowing was for sewerage schemes, wastewater treatment, water supply services, roads and footpaths, the council said.

"Council borrows only to invest in new infrastructure to improve levels of service – it does not borrow for renewals or to cover operational costs.

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"Borrowing is projected to peak in year 5 of the LTP with a heavy focus in the first few years on sewerage and wastewater treatment projects."

The community will have various opportunities to provide verbal and written feedback including at public meetings and forums, at community events, pop-up stations in locations around the district, online and in writing.

There will be no formal hearings for the Long-term Plan but written submissions will be accepted and the council will again run world cafe-style forums, which were successfully trialled as part of spatial plan consultation.

These less formal forums enable the public to discuss various consultation topics directly with elected members and with other members of the public. All feedback will be recorded and provided to elected members to assist in their decision-making to finalise the LTP.

Councils are required to develop a Long-term Plan, covering a period of no less than 10 years, every three years. During workshops held during the past few months Rotorua's elected members have discussed projects, programmes and services aligned to achieving the district's goals and long-term vision and how these can be achieved through the LTP.

Following consultation, elected members will deliberate on feedback received in May with the finalised LTP to be adopted late June.

Click here to view the presentation made during this week's full council meeting, providing an overview of the proposed LTP and plans for consultation and engagement.

Key points
•An average rates increase of 5.6% is being signalled for year one (2018/19) of the LTP;
•Rates increase in 2018/19 is driven by inflation and increased interest expenses and depreciation resulting from investment in capital expenditure over the 10-year plan;
•Rates increases will differ between and within ratepayer categories due to recent property revaluations;
•A total capex budget of $481.3 million over the next 10 years;
•Council will increase assets by $344 million to nearly $1.6 billion;
•Debt will increase by $67 million. Growth in level of debt through investment of assets maintains approximately 83% equity.
- Rotorua Lakes Council