8 December 2017
Further elements of the draft 10-Year Plan for Hamilton were put in place yesterday in a marathon 13-hour Hamilton City Council meeting which went late into the night.
The meeting was the second day of debate on Mayor Andrew King’s initial draft budget.
Once the Council approves a draft plan it will go to public consultation early next year, including a submissions process and hearings, before adoption of the final plan in June 2018. All decisions and approvals made during this stage of the process are subject to confirmation following the consultation process.
Council yesterday agreed to progress an application to the Government’s Housing Infrastructure Fund (HIF) to support new growth in the Peacocke area. The $308.4 million project is projected to include $119.3 million in NZ Transport Agency subsidies, and the HIF would provide a $189.1 million interest-free loan which would save the city $70 million over 10 years. This is a further step in the process, but does not commit the Council to accepting the loan, with a final decision to be made next year.
In other decisions, the Council approved the concept of a Central City Park to open the city towards the river and provide retail/café facilities. Initial capital of $12 million has been allocated.
A capital budget of $220 million over the next 10 years was approved for transport improvement projects to improve safety, ease congestion and continue development of the city’s cycle network. At the same meeting, although separate to the 10-Year Plan process, $6.4 million has been approved to purchase land in Rotokauri this financial year to secure a site for a future Park and Ride facility to link with a potential commuter rail link to Auckland.
Wheeled bins for rubbish and recycling have been approved, with an additional bin for food waste and in increase in the range of recycling accepted to include plastics 1 to 7. The food waste bin is proposed to be collected weekly, with rubbish and recycling fortnightly.
Funding has been approved for a redevelopment of Garden Place in conjunction with private sector funding, and to incorporate a Destination Playground into the design. If implemented, this would be a third new Destination Playground in the budget, with the Council approving $2 million for two new Destination Playgrounds and $3M for new or upgraded neighbourhood playgrounds.
A total of $9.3 million of funding to develop four new themed gardens at Hamilton Gardens was approved, along with the continuation of a $10 targeted rate per property and a $10 visitor charge for non-residents to assist funding. Non-resident members of Friends of the Gardens would be exempt from the entry charge.
Council meetings will continue next week to debate further aspects of the proposals as the draft 10-Year Plan is completed. A dedicated 10-Year Plan page section on the Council’s website contains formal resolutions and further detail at www.hamilton.govt.nz/10yearplan.