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10 May 2018
After the first day of deliberations, Waipa District Council has tentatively agreed to proceed with the six major proposals outlined in its draft 10-Year Plan.
Final decisions on what will be included in the Council’s 10-Year Plan will not be made until late June. However, based on discussions today it seems likely the Council will proceed ahead with plans to upgrade three key streets in Te Awamutu – Market St, Mahoe St and Churchill St - plus invest in a new public space to link them together.
More Council investment in heritage is also likely over the next decade. A proposal to spend an additional $3.6 million to preserve and enhance historical sites – including Waipā’s New Zealand Land Wars battleground sites – looks likely to get the nod. This proposal was strongly supported by the public with 70% of submissions in support.
Councillors have tentatively indicated they will vote in favour of investing around $7.2 million into a new Te Awamutu-based Waipā Discovery Centre to replace and enhance the existing museum and to act as heritage focal point for the district.
Discussions also suggest Councillors, backed by community support, are likely to change the way development contributions are recovered; making developers bear the cost of interest and inflation. They are also likely to set aside more than $4 million to protect and enhance the Cambridge Town Hall, a category two historic building. This proposal was also supported by the majority of submitters.
Council is keen to grant $500,000 towards a new sport and recreation centre at Ōhaupō. However, in response to community feedback, will do further investigation and consultation with the community over the next year as to how the contribution will be funded.
Council will continue with deliberations from 9am tomorrow. Based on the proposals in Waipā’s draft 10-Year Plan, the average annual rates increase over the 10 years 2018-2028 will be 1.53% each year (not including water supply charges). Final impacts on projected rates will be taken into account before final decisions are made in June.