A whopping $63.7 million has been allocated for spending on capital projects in the Tasman District Council’s annual plan for 2020-2021.

The figure has jumped up by $17.9million from what was planned in the Council’s Long-Term Plan, published in 2018.

The annual plan was adopted by the council on Thursday last week and has seen significant overhauls since it was considered in November and December last year, due to the impacts of Covid-19.

In April, councillors agreed to a zero rates revenue increase, to aid residents struggling to deal with the financial impacts of the worldwide pandemic.

A 2.46 per cent increase had been planned for 2020-2021 under the council’s long-term plan. The council now expects rates revenue to sit at $77.7 million, down from the $78.9 million that was forecast in the original plan.

The plan also outlines that the zero rates revenue increase does not mean that residents won’t see an increase in the rates that they pay.

It says that actual increase varies on the mix of services received, and that residents who will see an increase in their rates are those connected to the council’s rural water schemes, like residents in Eighty Eighty Valley, Redwood Valley, or Dovedale.

The council also resolved not to produce a consultation document or formally consult on the Annual Plan.

The main changes to the capital work programme, compared to the long term, include the Port Tarakohe Upgrade which will get an extra $10.2 million if it can gain central government funding.

Transportation projects will be $1.9million higher than expected, with NZTA subsidies $0.6million more than previously estimated.

An extra $3.9million will be spent on improving drinking water to meet the new government regulations.

$2.1 million has been included for maintenance in council buildings. This is currently being looked at, as the Covid lockdown changed working practices.

Meanwhile, the budget for wastewater has been decreased by $1.4 million due to project timing changes.
Net debt for the council has also shifted, with the forecast now sitting at $199.7 million.

Tasman mayor Tim King says that it will be a significant challenge to work through with the lower revenue than the council had anticipated.

“With everything we are facing at the moment – there will be some difficult decisions in the year ahead.”

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