Council adopts 17/18 Annual Plan

The South Wairarapa District Council (SWDC) adopted the 17/18 Annual Plan at a Council meeting on 28 June 2017. The Annual Plan covers the period from 1 July 2017 to 30 June 2018, and represents the third year of the 2015/2025 Long Term Plan.

Feedback from ratepayers helped Council work out which initiatives were important to ratepayers and which proposals required more work.

A key proposal consulted on was whether free swimming should be offered in the three outdoor swimming pools in our district.  There was overwhelming support of this initiative, with 85% of respondents in favour of the proposal.  In response, Council will now offer free swimming for all swimmers at Featherston, Greytown and Martinborough pools during advertised pool opening hours for the 17/18 season.  For safety reasons pool capacity limitations will apply.

With 80% of respondents in favour of deferring the cyclical wastewater underground pipe asset replacement programme in order to accelerate wastewater irrigation to land projects, Council adopted the proposal.  In response to submissions expressing concern about continued deferral of maintenance, Council made special note that deferral was agreed to only for the current financial year.

Council acknowledged all submissions on the Dog Pound and resolved that whilst the current Pound meets minimum requirements, their view was that improvements are desirable.  Further investigation is required by the Wairarapa councils on dog pound requirements for the region before a final decision can be made.

The last proposal Council sought feedback on was whether there was support for deferral of some roading rehabilitation for one year so funds could be directed to new footpaths, footpath maintenance and road crossings.  As this proposal had significant support from residents, the programme was adopted, but only for one year.  It was also noted that urgent road rehabilitation had precedence over deferral of funds to footpath projects.  The footpath priority programme is to be developed by the three community boards based on need and safety, with approval of the final programme to be given by the Infrastructure and Planning Working Party.

Council agreed with submissions requesting car boot green waste fees remain at $5 per car load and the proposed $10 fee was not adopted.

Council’s core services will continue as outlined in the Annual Plan and funding will also be provided to Destination Wairarapa, museums, significant Wairarapa events, sporting ventures, existing and new social and health programmes, education programmes and new cultural initiatives.

The final average rates increase of 3.92% was in line with the 15/25 Long Term Plan forecast.