Funding approved to support a new bike park
Council approved funds of $47,631 to help the Clutha Parks Trust develop a junior bike park as part of the Naish & Centennial Park Balclutha Redevelopment.
The funds were part of an approved budget of $250K through the 2019/20 Annual Plan.
The Destination Park design is intended to draw visitors and residents into the park, pool and roadside walk/cycle ways.
The Clutha Parks Trust have also secured a $50,000 Trusts Community Foundation grant towards the bike park.
In 2018, an original proposal was submitted to Council which suggested the Naish Park Coordinating Group “develop the Naish Park area into a Garden of Significance and develop the Centennial Park into a destination playground, bike park and playing area for children of all ages incorporating sheltered and covered picnic and BBQ areas along with public toilets, seating and carparking.”
Clutha Parks Trust is now in the process of refreshing their project plan and adjusting the stages of development with a new Project Plan to be submitted to the Service Delivery Committee in October.
Council Community Housing Policy adopted
Council has adopted an amended Council Community Housing Policy.
A review of Council’s community housing portfolio was undertaken to determine how the activity could be undertaken in a long-term, sustainable manner.
The review included a condition assessment of Council’s housing stock, an investigation of various level of service options, and an assessment of the rental income required to provide this activity in a rates neutral manner.
Demand for Council’s community housing units had increased in recent years and was expected to increase further in the future.
The provision of community housing needed to be at a level that met all legislative requirements and the amendments to the policy would ensure a minimum level of service, and warm healthy homes for tenants.
The proposed policy also provides for the community housing activity to be run on a cost recovery, rates neutral basis.
Rental increase for community housing
Council approved a rental increase of $12 across all its community housing units, however this will be the only increase for 12 months, under the current COVID-19 tenancy rules.
Council previously considered reviewing the rentals for Community Housing units in 2019 but decided to defer any rental increase for the 2020/21 year until the Community Housing Review was completed.
With the review complete it has moved from a market rental assessment towards a cost recovery model.
There have been operating deficits across the Community Housing Portfolio in the previous years with a total deficit of $234,400 from the start of the 2020/21 year.
The rental increase will go towards ensuring that deficits aren't continuing to accrue, and will begin a move towards addressing the work that is required to bring the houses up to the Healthy Homes Standard.
The Healthy Homes Standard comes into force for current tenants by 2024 however new tenants moving into a Council rental could legally expect the standard to be in place by 2021.
Council acknowledged the needs of the community for housing in the Clutha District.
Any adjustment to rentals for current tenants requires 60 days’ notice.
Council opts not to introduce Maori Wards
Maori Wards will not be introduced for the Clutha District Council 2022 and 2025 triennial elections.
Council is required under the Local Electoral Act 2001 to consider whether one or more Māori wards should be introduced for the next two triennial elections.
The introduction of one or more Māori wards was optional and Council decided to keep with the status quo having consulted with the local Runanga (Te Rūnanga o Ōtākou), who advised they were also happy with the status quo.
Clutha District Licensing Committee approved
Carol Sutherland, Roger Smaill, Tanya Surrey and Jeff McKenzie have been appointed to the Clutha District Licensing Committee with Councillor Bruce Vollweiler appointed as Chairperson.
The Committee have been appointed for a term of five years and Councillor Carol Sutherland will act as Deputy Chairperson.
Under the Sale and Supply of Alcohol Act 2012, all alcohol licence applications are decided by a District Licensing Committee.
The Committee is comprised of three members appointed by Council – one Councillor or independent commissioner as chair, and two members of the community (who can be drawn from a list of approved members).
Having a District Licensing Committee is a statutory requirement and consultation on the appointment of the committee was not a statutory requirement.
The Act sets various criteria for members including that they must have experience relevant to alcohol licensing matters, but not be a constable, Medical Officer of Health or licensing inspector, council employee, or be involved with the alcohol industry either personally or through a relationship with another person.
Council to consult its Balclutha Bridge Lighting project through the Long Term Plan
The Balclutha Bridge Lighting project will be included in the 2021 Long Term Plan to gauge community support.
Council had investigated the possibility of lighting the State Highway 1 Bridge over the Clutha River and in February 2020 contractors installed a trial lighting system for the Balclutha Bridge.
During the meeting councillors discussed whether there was any appetite for allocating $350,000 towards the project from the Balclutha Streetscape Stage 2 fund.
It was decided that consulting the public through the Long-Term Plan was a more favourable option.
They acknowledged the project had been around for more than 10 years and would prefer to see it progressed community-led.
Priority list approved
Councillors approved a priority list of wastewater and drinking water compliance work that will be funded from $6.4 million of water stimulus funding provided by Central Government.
The priority lists all meet the objectives of the funding Memorandum of Understanding that Council signed to secure the funding from the Government’s $761 million three waters stimulus funding package.
Work that is already in a current budget for this year was not eligible for funding.
The priorities for work had to be on projects that would contribute to consent compliance and
health and safety. Another key consideration was that the work had to be started by the end of March 2021 and completed by the end of March 2022.
With the projects identified the next step was to submit a delivery plan for these to the Crown Infrastructure Partners organisation for approval and by the end of September 2020.
Destination Toilets progresses
Progress on the destination toilet for Balclutha took a positive step forward at yesterday’s Council meeting with Councillors agreeing to progress the “Ferry design” option.
Following demolition of the new site at 58 Clyde Street, Rough & Milne landscape architects were engaged to develop options for a site layout and landscape designs.
The architects presented the results of their design work at the council meeting via Zoom. Councillors looked at two options:
1. The River Ferry design which incorporates the Clutha River Ferry, the native Catlins forest and the Clutha River.
2. The Hunt for the Wild Things design also captured the native Catlins forest but featured Southland’s Syncline and New Zealand’s Big Foot. Historically the Catlins forest is one of only three sightings of a Big Foot in New Zealand.
The Ferry design provided by Rough and Milne will be progressed in conjunction with the architect for the new toilet design to ensure alignment of design.
Parking options and seating will be included and further considered in the final designs.