The Hamilton City Council is seeking the community's views on nearly $150 million worth of projects to help shape its 2021-31 draft Long-Term Plan.
The council has released its 2021-31 draft Long-Term Plan Consultation Document, which outlines key plans proposed for the next 10 years and how these will be funded.
The draft Long-Term Plan is based on the council's five priorities for Hamilton Kirikiriroa:
• a city that's easy to live in
• a city where our people thrive
• a central city where people love to be
• a fun city with lots to do
• a green city.
The council says priorities reflect feedback from Hamiltonians about what they love about their city and what could make it even better.
The draft Long-Term Plan proposes to spend $3.7 billion over 10 years on the "everyday" costs of running the city. These include making sure rubbish and recycling are collected, maintaining roads and footpaths, and keeping our sports parks ready to play on.
There's also $2.5b of proposed capital funding to look after existing assets (like playgrounds and footpaths), build new infrastructure (like roads and water pipes) and for new community projects (like libraries and parks).
The Consultation Document asks for feedback on 11 projects that total $146.65 million of proposed spending or revenue:
1. Providing more, safer routes for biking, scooting and skating by investing $55m over the next 10 years
2. $3m to upgrade the Gordonton Rd/Puketaha Rd intersection in 2021/22
3. $11m to upgrade the Borman Rd/Horsham Downs Rd intersection in 2024/25
4. $5m to expand Hillcrest Library in 2027/28
5. Set up a creative sector funding trial of $100,000 for three years
6. $11m towards a new walking and cycling bridge over the Waikato River from the central city
7. Introduce paid commuter parking around the fringe of the central city to generate $1.6m of revenue to fund alternative transport initiatives
8. $3m to build a new jetty at Hamilton Gardens in 2026-28
9. Charge $5 for cars and $20 for tour buses to park at Hamilton Gardens to generate $500,000 for improved services and facilities
10. Increase recreational swim space by spending $6m to build a seasonal dome over the outdoor pool at Waterworld in 2023
11. $29m to restore and improve our gullies.
Hamilton mayor Paula Southgate is adamant the community can have their say on any project in the draft Long-Term Plan, funded or unfunded, "or any aspect of council business whatsoever".
"The people of Hamilton Kirikiriroa have already had more input into this Long-Term Plan than they ever have before, in terms of helping us set the priorities.
"Your councillors have listened to what you've told us about what makes Hamilton a great place to live and your aspirations for our city. Now we want to know if we've got it right with our draft Long-Term Plan and what we are prioritising".
"We can't do everything, nor can we do it all at once. Every decision we've made has considered council's financial challenges and affordability for ratepayers. I'm now urging people to have their say before we make final decisions in June."
The community is also being asked for their views on the council's financial strategy, which proposes an increase to the debt-to-revenue limit, balancing the books in 2024/25 and an average 8.9 per cent rates increase in 2021/22 for existing ratepayers.
This is made up of a 4.4 per cent average increase to the general rate, and also includes the introduction of a compliance targeted rate to cover rising costs as a result of legislation introduced by central Government to deliver water services and to make changes to the District Plan. This is equivalent to a 4.5 per cent average rates increase.
Alongside the draft Long-Term Plan, the council also wants to hear from the community about proposed changes to the following policies: Development Contributions, Growth Funding, and Revenue and Financing.
The Consultation Document goes to the council for adoption on February 25. If adopted at that meeting, consultation will run from March 5 to April 7.
Residents can have their say by visiting futurehamilton.co.nz, by picking up a hardcopy consultation document at any council facility, emailing firstname.lastname@example.org, or messaging the HCC Facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn pages.
Council staff and elected members will also be out and about across the city during the consultation period to hear from Hamiltonians.