Other proposed changes to the 2023/24 year - He panonitanga anō kua marohitia mō te tau 2023/24.
In addition to the major changes already described, there are other material changes proposed for the 2023/24 year which are outlined below by activity area.
Many of these changes to capital projects consist of movements of funds between years to allow for efficient work programmes – there is no impact on the levels of service provided. Nonetheless, to achieve a manageable work programme of $59.2 million* that includes substantial recovery works it is necessary to defer some projects and renewals.
Deferring some renewals for a year will increase the risk of assets failing and needing to undertake unbudgeted repairs which would increase our debt.
We are also proposing some other changes to operating expenditure budgets, such as investigating an arts hub and a Tāhunanui facility, and increasing the Tāhunanui Beach Reserve maintenance programme.
*Note: This figure excludes vested assets, staff costs, Nelson Regional Sewerage Business Unit and Nelson Tasman Regional Landfill Business Unit.
Combined Infrastructure activity is planning an overall increase of $12.6 million to the 2023/24 capital expenditure programme, compared to the Long Term Plan.
Due to the government-led Three Waters Reform programme, from 1 July 2024 four new water services entities could deliver three waters services to people across New Zealand. So, 2023/24 could be the last year that Council sets the work programmes for Water Supply, Wastewater and Stormwater activities. There is significant uncertainty about this reform, and at the time of writing, further change by central government is possible. Council needs to continue to maintain these services to a high standard and await any confirmation or change in direction.
Council is proposing deferring approximately $3.1 million of upgrade works within Washington Valley, including the renewal/upgrade of wastewater, stormwater, water and roading infrastructure from 2023/24 to 2025/26–2027/28. Council needs to prioritise the renewal of the existing culvert on St Vincent Street and focus on the August 2022 severe weather event recovery projects.
Council is proposing deferring approximately $3.1 million of three waters and transport infrastructure upgrades within Konini Street from 2023/24 to 2027/28. This deferral is due to the need to prioritise the August 2022 severe weather event recovery projects.
Expanded public transport bus services across Nelson and Tasman, with increased frequency and introduction of a flat fare, are to be provided from mid-2023. It is proposed that the budget for detailed design of the new bus hub for Millers Acre is reduced by $250,000 and the funds deferred for construction over two financial years 2023/24 and 2024/25. Other budget reallocations have occurred to accommodate an increase in drivers’ wages to combat nationwide driver shortages.
Council is proposing to accelerate projects that improve active travel connectivity from the southeastern side of the city through to Waimea Road. The total budget is $5 million in 2023/24, which is 100% subsidised by Waka Kotahi. Therefore, there is no cost implication for Council
Council is proposing to accelerate the active travel corridor from the Railway Reserve to Hampden Street /Waimea Road in 2023/24. Council will be able to trial layouts and tactical changes before more permanent work is carried out in years 2024- 27. The total budget is $1.4 million, which is 90% subsidised by Waka Kotahi. Therefore, the cost implication for Council is $140,000.
Council is proposing additional budget for the installation of an aeration system at the Maitai Dam to meet recent resource consent requirements. Council is proposing an additional $300,000 for a total budget of $1.5 million in 2023/24
Council is proposing to prioritise the renewal of watermains in Hill Street North in 2023/24. This work, including installing a larger pipe and creating an additional link between the Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council, will cater for increased water demand in the area and improve resilience for both councils in the event of emergencies. Of the $1.125 million water pipe renewals budget, approximately $1 million would be spent on this project.
Following the directive from the Director-General of Health of Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health, Council is required to install a fluoridation system at the Water Treatment Plan. Council is budgeting $821,000 in 2023/24, and Manatū Hauora Ministry of Health has in principle approved funding to cover this cost.
Council is proposing additional budget for the Awatea wastewater pump station project because of the impacts from the August 2022 severe weather event, COVID-19 impacts, and cost increases. This would add budget of $1.5 million in 2023/24 to complete this work.
The wastewater pipeline renewals programme for the 2023/24 year has been reduced by approximately $1.9 million, with $300,000 remaining in the budget. Design will begin for the renewal of the reticulation from Centennial Pump Station in The Wood to the proposed Maitahi Bayview Development subdivision discussed on page x. LINK
Council is proposing to increase trade waste charges to category B customers by 20% to reflect the cost increases in the activity. An additional budget of $300,000 is proposed to purchase equipment for further monitoring of larger trade waste customers that will allow a better understanding of where they need to be with respect to the correct trade waste charging category.
Council is proposing additional budget for the design of stormwater upgrades on Cawthron Crescent, Wastney Terrace Stage 2, Murphy/Emano Street, Tāhunanui Hills Catchments 2 & 9, Totara/ Hutcheson Street, York Terrace and the St Vincent Street/Haven Road culvert renewal. Council is proposing an additional $1.9 million be included for a total budget of $2.3 million in 2023/24.
Council is proposing additional budget for the Saxton Creek Stage 4 upgrade because of the impacts from the August 2022 severe weather event, COVID-19 impacts, cost fluctuations and construction delays associated with the wet winter during 2022. This would add budget of $2 million in 2023/24 for this work.
Environment activity is planning an overall increase of $955,000 to the 2023/24 capital expenditure programme, compared to the Long Term Plan – primarily due to existing 2022/23 budgets that will not be spent being carried forward a year to 2023/24.
The Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan was put on hold by Council resolution in November 2021, pending changes to the Resource Management Act.
A plan change to the Nelson Resource Management Plan is being progressed to enable intensification and greater housing choice in urban zones and address some climate change issues. Notification of this plan change is planned for June 2023. Council has been notified by the Minister for the Environment that Nelson City Council and Tasman District Council will be required to prepare a joint Nelson/Tasman Regional Spatial Strategy and a joint Nelson/Tasman Natural and Built Environment Plan under the new resource management legislation. The content of the Draft Whakamahere Whakatū Nelson Plan will be incorporated into these plans where possible.
The amended planning programme will result in an increase of $40,000 of operating expenditure in 2023/24, with funds being diverted to the plan change and preparation for a joint Nelson/Tasman Plan.
Social activity is planning an overall reduction of $13.3 million to the 2023/24 capital expenditure programme, compared to the Long Term Plan – primarily due to the proposed decreases to the central city library redevelopment budget.
Council is proposing funding to community groups and facilities (including Council organisations) in 2023/24 at the same level as 2022/23. This will put some community groups under pressure as they too are subject to inflationary cost pressures. This proposed change would result in a reduction of $95,000 in 2023/24 compared to year three of the Long Term Plan.
Council is proposing to end the Heritage Project Fund grants scheme that allowed listed heritage building owners to apply to for support to maintain and repair their properties. The grant scheme is economically inefficient for Council and residents, with the cost of administering the fund estimated to be higher than the grants paid. Removal of this fund scheme would result in a budget saving of $118,000 in 2023/24.
Council is planning to commemorate Council’s 150th anniversary in 2024 by producing a book on the last 50 years. This is a continuation of two other books published by NCC on the 50th and 100th anniversaries. A budget of $125,000 has been allocated in 2023/24 to launch the project and engage an author and/or researcher to develop a book which will be an important reference on the city’s history.
Council is proposing to undertake further assessment work on the Council-owned 3 Halifax Street building (the Refinery) in 2023/24 prior to any seismic strengthening work. This proposed change sees a $100,000 budget retained in 2023/24 for the assessment work and the deferral of construction costs in the current year 2022/23 of $1.2 million for consideration through the Long Term Plan 2024– 2034.
Council is proposing to allocate $100,000 operating expenditure in 2023/24 to investigate opportunities for a new arts hub to support the arts sector and implementation of He Tātai Whetū – Whakatū Nelson Arts and Creativity Strategy. Council analysis of community arts facilities has identified potential gaps for Nelson that warrant further investigation.
Parks and Active Recreation activity is planning an overall increase of $133,000 to the 2023/24 capital expenditure programme, compared to the Long Term Plan.
Council is proposing to allocate $100,000 operating expenditure in 2023/24 to investigate opportunities for the development of a surf lifesaving and sports facility/facilities at Tāhunanui Beach Reserve. Funding for any development is not currently included in the Long Term Plan.
The Nelson Surf Lifesaving Club operates from a small building beside the sports changing facility bordering Bisley Walk. This is a temporary building on the sports field – some distance from the beach. Storage for boats and lifesaving equipment currently makes use of two shipping containers beside the building, a further two behind the back dune nearer the beach and at the Coastguard’s Sealord Marine Rescue Centre on Wakefield Quay approximately 2 kms to the north. The existing shower and changing rooms are inadequate to service the grounds, particularly women’s sport.
Council is proposing to develop concept designs should there be a preferred option agreed in 2023/24. This approach would provide an opportunity to further investigate the shortfall of facilities, what facilities are required, and provide a clear estimate of build costs.
Budget would be required for the construction of any new facility or facilities if the work progresses. Any funding decisions would need to be considered as part of the Long Term Plan 2024-2034 consultation process. Also, the expected level of contribution of funding from the surf lifesaving club and sports codes (often sourced from various funding agencies) would need to be considered.
Council is proposing to defer budget of $204,000 for the Nightingale Library Memorial roof repair to 24/25, with a residual budget of $41,000 in 2023/24. The Nightingale roof repair is the final stage of refurbishment of this library. It will involve the replacement of the existing butynol roofing, fascia boards and the roof light. Deferring the work for a year will allow us to refine the plan and check pricing options.
The proposed implementation of the approved Nelson Marina Masterplan 2022-37+ will have no impact on rates as activity for the Marina is funded from a closed Marina account. Key changes are listed below.
- Increasing the budget to replace the travel lift with a new larger model and build a structure to take the new model from $845,000 to $1.6 million.
- Bringing forward budgets for the Pontoon renewal programme electrical pedestal replacement from 2024/25 and 2025/26 to 2023/24 (from $134,000 to $387,000). Once this project is complete it will reduce marina costs, as users will then be charged for the power used.
- Adding budget of $150,000 for the installation of a full CCTV camera system throughout the marina.
- Adding budget of $50,000 for consent and planning for a marina extension.
- Introducing budgets totalling $70,000 for general small capital expenditure projects and plant and equipment required in and around the marina and hardstand.
- Decreasing the Marina hardstand improvements budget from $211,000 to $100,000 to complete consent and planning costs for hardstand development because of changed priorities.
- Removing a public boat ramp improvements budget of $530,000 due to the project no longer proceeding because of updated priorities in the approved masterplan.
- Negotiating with Port Nelson to secure a deal on 305 Akersten Street (with deferred payment until 2024/25) because it is the preferred location in the Marina masterplan for a Sea Sports Building, subject to the area being deemed safe for use. This would result in budget of $412,000 being deferred from 2023/24 to 2024/25.
Council had planned to renew the whole drainage system at Saxton Cricket Oval in 2022/23 to extend the life of the turf. However, Council decided to complete minor drainage upgrades and defer the majority of the budget from 2022/23 to 2023/24. Council will monitor performance of the minor upgrades over a 12-month period. If they are successful, the $264,000 budget in 2023/24 will not be required and can be deferred to future years.
Council is proposing to increase the Tāhunanui Beach Reserve maintenance programme to achieve an improvement in beach maintenance, erosion management, barbeque maintenance and rubbish servicing at Nelson’s iconic beach. A $100,000 increase for 2023/24 is proposed, which would increase the overall budget to $264,000.
Corporate activity is planning an overall increase of $1.7 million to the 2023/24 capital expenditure programme, compared to the Long Term Plan.
Council is developing a new approach to the refurbishment of Civic House due to changes since the Long Term Plan was adopted. The pandemic has changed how Council operates. New ways of working and increases to original cost estimates have required a rethink of the original business case. An elected member Civic House Taskforce has been established to oversee how to best progress work, including consideration of how to address the earthquake prone tower block roof and ceiling system on level six, impacted building-wide core services, and the removal of the earthquake prone building notices.
Council will also develop a new business case for the long term strategic consideration of staff accommodation. The proposed changes would result in a smaller budget of $1.2 million in 2023/24 to commence a project to address the earthquake prone tower block roof and ceiling systems. The deferral of the remaining 2022/23 and 2023/24 budget of $3.3 million to 2024/25 will mean this budget is retained for future expenditure based on outcomes of the new business case.
In accordance with sections 57 and 58 of the Local Government (Rating) Act 2002, Council is proposing to increase the penalty interest rate on late payment of rates (excluding water volumetric rates) from 5% to 10% in 2023/24. This would reverse the Long Term Plan decision to decrease the penalty interest rate from 10% to 5% and would better reflect the cost of financing the late payments, as interest costs have increased in recent years.
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