Gang members, basketball players, sculptors and church
administrators will be among a cross-section of Dunedin's
community to stand before the city council and make their
requests this week as the latest council budget meeting
Not only are 176 individuals and groups set to personally put
their cases to the council, they are seeking support, in
principle and financially, for a wide variety of projects and
desires - from cat and bicycle registration, to a new sports
hub behind Logan Park High School, cycleways, a new pool in
Mosgiel, a trust to make public art decisions and saving the
There are also three specific topics mentioned on submission
forms, which dozens will also speak about.
Nearly 600 people have offered views about in which order the
remaining unimproved sections of Portobello Rd and Harington
Point Rd should be widened.
Almost 300 have submitted a view on Waipori Fund's ethical
investment strategy, most favouring taking an ethical
investment approach but with differing views about what
categories of investment should be excluded, and more than
230 submitters are largely in favour of the council investing
more in heritage building re-use incentives.
It will be up to the council to juggle tight budgets and the
various pleas for extra spending as it begins hearing this
morning from some of the 1119 submitters with views on the
council's 2014-15 draft annual plan, which sets out council
spending for the coming financial year.
It continues a disciplinary stance on new or additional
funding, the council having already trimmed more than $3
million from its own budgets as part of its third consecutive
year of pushing to cut costs, and keeps the forecast rates
increase to 3%.
Staff are also expected to report next week that they have
found another $1 million savings or income, to keep the rates
rise at 3% despite expecting Forsyth Barr Stadium to be about
$1 million under budget again, also for the third consecutive
That would bring the total ratepayers contribute to the
venue's cost annually to more than $10 million.
The year-on-year call for top-ups from the council is hoped
to be addressed following a major review, due mid-year, of
the way the venue is being operated.
The draft plan includes a relatively small amount of proposed
new spending, $454,000, in areas where the council believed
spending would have long-term benefits, such as to support
heritage building owners who need to redevelop and/or
strengthen their buildings, seed funding for the Mosgiel Pool
project and small investments in food resilience and energy
A remaining $179,000 savings identified has been earmarked to
That has not stopped a list of requests for extra funding
from community groups across the city.
Among them are a request for $10,000 to trial a trust that
would select public art for the city, an extra $20,000 for
the trust that would develop plans for a new Mosgiel pool, an
extra $27,000 for Olveston, and $75,000 to establish a queer
community development role.
The Methodist Mission is back to ask for $40,000 to help pay
for an independent advocacy programme, Basketball Otago has
asked for $30,000 to help cover venue hire fees at the Edgar
Centre, and Film Otago Southland seeks $20,000 to help cover
Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull said this was the best opportunity
for the council to judge how the community felt on matters,
and it was great to see so many people getting involved in
The hearing begins today at 9am and is expected to conclude