Saturday, April 13, 2024

Selwyn council signs off on 10-year investment programme

Selwyn District Council has signed off on a 10-year programme of continued investment in new and existing infrastructure, community facilities, and services for the district.

At its meeting last week, the Council adopted its Long-Term Plan 2021-2031, signalling a series of landmark projects for Selwyn.

Mayor Sam Broughton says the plan responds to the needs of a growing community now and into the future.

“We’ve laid a strong foundation over the past few years. With this plan we’re building on that, ensuring we are meeting the needs of growth now and building for the district we want to see beyond the next 10 years,” he said.

Major projects endorsed by the Council include a new wastewater system for Darfield and Kirwee, a significant increase in funding for roading maintenance, increased investments in water supply and new community facilities for Prebbleton, Leeston and Hororata.

The proposed wastewater pipeline to connect all future developments in Darfield and Kirwee to the Pines Waste Water Treatment Plant will be built this year. The Council will work with Environment Canterbury to determine the timing beyond 2025 for homes with existing septic tanks to connect to the pipeline and has agreed to review the funding of the system.

New projects adopted in response to public submissions included plans for new all-weather hockey and football turfs at Foster Park and to support the development of a Selwyn heritage strategy. Council will also consider a new gymnastics facility funded by a lease and subject to a business case.

Other changes from the draft plan include a change to the timing of the Leeston Library and Community Centre development, which is now planned to be completed in 2024/25 to allow further consultation on the preferred location and to develop an overall masterplan for Leeston Park.

Overall the plan forecasts average rate rises of 4-5% per year over the 10 years of the plan. In the coming 2021/22 year, the average rates rise will be 4.9%.

The Long-Term Plan is about building a Selwyn for all the residents and key to that is engaging with the community and identifying their priorities, Mayor Broughton said.

“We’ve listened carefully and responded both in where people have supported our proposals and where they’ve asked to consider other options.”

“We’ve heard the message from the community around roads. We’ve also listened to our residents on their priorities for how we keep our drinking water safe and concerns around how we pay for the new Darfield Kirwee wastewater system, and we’ve agreed to keep working on those.

“We also responded with some new projects after hearing people’s additional requests for support, in particular for new football, hockey and gymnastics facilities and working with the community on protecting our heritage.”

The plan will see the Council provide an additional $2.3 million a year in funding for road maintenance, on top of the $44.1 million of expenditure that will be shared with Waka Kotahi New Zealand Transport Agency for the next three years.

A total of 631 submissions were received on the Draft Long-Term Plan, while a further 1,300 people provided feedback through quick polls and more attended drop-in sessions, along with a Selwyn first of two Facebook Live events where Mayor Sam Broughton took questions on the plan.

An initial assessment found it may cost around $5 to $6 million to fix damage to Council assets from this month’s flooding event, of which $3 to $4 million may be incurred on the 2021/22 financial year. This is a preliminary assessment and it will be some time before the final cost is known, Mayor Broughton said.

“A substantial proportion of the repair costs is likely to be recovered through the Council’s insurance policies, Waka Kotahi and support from the Government. The Council does not expect the event will have a significant impact on its ability to deliver on its 10-year programme,” he said.

The full Long-Term Plan is available to view from the Council agenda.

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