QLDC acts on plan feedback

Jim Boult.
Jim Boult.
A slightly lower than expected rates rise and a million-dollar boost for ''active transport'' in Wanaka are on the cards following changes to Queenstown's long-term plan.

Councillors will vote tomorrow on whether to adopt the nearly $1billion plan, which has been described as the most ''ambitious'' proposed by the Queenstown Lakes District Council.

A report to councillors shows the average overall rates increase has dropped from 6.95% to 6.89% for 2018-19.

The overall rates increase over the full 10 years is 3.41%.

The council received 586 submissions, a 6% increase on submissions received for the previous long-term plan. Hearings in Queenstown and Wanaka attracted 115 submitters.

The $990 million spend includes $326 million for the big-ticket town centre masterplan, which includes new parking buildings, arterial routes, cycle lanes, water taxi infrastructure, and bus priority lanes.

After a strong push from submitters, funding for active transport in Wanaka has been boosted from $2.3 million to $3.7 million.

Investment in both the Crown Range Rd and Glenorchy Rd has been increased to take advantage of NZTA special funding rates before they are reduced.

In years one to three, the overall investment will be $4.3 million, but the effect on roading rates is minimal due to the offset in
NZTA funding.

Design for the Brecon St pedestrianisation is being brought forward from 2019-20 to 2018-19 to be incorporated into similar projects for Beach and Rees Sts.

A range of new grants to community and business groups has also been included in the plan.

Mayor Jim Boult said strong community participation influenced a number of key changes to the document since it went out for community consultation earlier this year.

''We'd like to thank all of the people and groups who made submissions and the hundred or so people who took time out of their days to join us at the hearings. Your input has been vital as we shape the work programme for the next 10 years.

''The deliberation process has been thorough and there has been a lot of debate around the table as councillors carefully considered every submission received. Unfortunately, we simply cannot fund everything and there were some tough decisions to be made through that process.''

Mr Boult said the next big challenge was for the council to deliver on its promises.

''It has been a huge task producing an affordable plan that will tackle our growth challenges and I am incredibly excited to see it come to life. The next challenge is to ensure the staff are well resourced and empowered to deliver it for our district.''

Councillors will vote on whether to adopt the plan at a full council meeting tomorrow.

-By Daisy Hudson

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