The proposed new Nelson library and the city’s annual plan featured at council meetings this week.
There were two meetings for the Nelson City Council this week, a full council meeting on Tuesday and an environment and climate committee meeting on Thursday.
A significant portion of the council meeting was taken up with an update on the proposed new library and the communication strategy for the project.
The other major item was the adoption ot the 2022/23 annual plan, which was not consulted on thanks to sticking pretty much to the plans set out in the Long Term Plan (LTP).
The plan sticks to the 5.4% rates increase cap, and reduces the uniform annual general charge from the LTP’s proposed 13% to 11%.
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Capital spend was $69.4 million, $5.4m above the LTP’s projected value, and operating expenditure was $144.4m, $100,000 above what was projected.
The net debt for the year was $161m, $1.1m above the LTP’s proposed debt levels.
The council also received the Nelson Regional Development Agency’s (NRDA) update on its three-year Statement of Intent, and a quarterly update on “significant central government reform programmes” including the future for local government review, Three Waters reform programme, and Resource Management Act reforms.
Group manager of infrastructure Alec Louverdis said the council would hold community engagement to help inform its submissions on the Three Waters reforms from Wednesday June 29, with in-person and Zoom sessions for the public to share their views.
“That will all go into a submission that council will be putting in; we have made it very clear that individuals can make individual submissions, but we will be hearing those submissions and then putting in and building that into a council submission.”
The council’s Shape Nelson page is already up and running for general feedback, but will have specific survey questions available early next week.
On Thursday the environment and climate committee meeting voted to increase fees and charges by cost price index (4.9%) from the beginning of December this year, which would recover 46% of council’s costs.
A major piece in the meeting was the council’s climate change strategic framework, which was recommended to include developing a climate change strategy and establishing a climate change taskforce which would include youth and iwi representatives, technical experts, and members of the Nelson Tasman Climate Forum.
Committee chair councillor Kate Fulton managed to get across the line her Good Food Cities objectives to be included for consideration as part of the strategy, a piece of work she has been championing for some time.
The objectives include reducing food waste, supporting local food resiliency, and collaboration with iwi, businesses and other community organisations to achieve good food city goals.