Your Questions Answered - Master plan needed for Mangawhai
Council is seeking feedback on proposed improvements to Alamar Crescent, the road that leads to the boat ramp and Sellars Reserve. Members from the community have raised concerns over pedestrian safety here for many years, especially when the area is full of holiday-makers and vehicles towing boats and trailers.
Council’s goal is to make improvements that reduce risks for pedestrians, while at the same time gaining better use of space available for parking.
A footpath, composed of a mix of limestone and cement (rather than solid concrete), is proposed along the foreshore. This would form part of the Mangawhai Heads to Village walkway, a walkway that is evolving over time.
Submissions close on 1 July 2016. The plans can be viewed on Council’s website and in the window of the Boating Club. They are also available from Council’s Mangawhai office at the Hub in Molesworth Drive. Feedback can be sent directly to Sue Hodge, Parks and Community Manager, at email@example.com.
Building consents continue at high levels
Strong building activity continues in Mangawhai and in the areas surrounding Mangawhai and Kaiwaka. Housing demand is strong throughout the Kaipara District as an increasing number of people impacted by Auckland’s house prices look elsewhere. The district provides a number of attractive lifestyle choices. Population decline, once a concern for towns like Dargaville, has turned around.
Auckland Council is under pressure to fund the infrastructure required to service its growing population. Our Council is not feeling the same pressure in terms of building infrastructure to support new growth. We charge developers financial and development contributions to fund such infrastructure costs.
However we do lack a master plan or town plan for Mangawhai. Following the recent engagement with residents of Mangawhai, further planning work is scheduled. A community group will be established to guide this work. We also have some underground infrastructure in poor condition in our more established communities. A programme is in place to record both the areas of risk of infrastructure break-down, and to catch up on maintenance and renewals.
Council’s Annual Plan
On Tuesday this week the Commissioners will set the Annual Plan for the year beginning 1 July 2016.
The Commissioners will consider an Annual Plan that seeks a 2.94% increase in revenues sourced from rates. This increase is less than that planned in Council’s Long Term Plan 2015/2025 that was set a year ago, and for the second year in a row, is lower than the increases set by our neighbouring Councils.
Lower debt and lower interest costs have assisted Kaipara to keep the rate increase down. The Court of Appeal decision in favour of the Council earlier this year enabled us to negotiate lower costs of debt.
Council debt has now dropped to $65 million from the peak of $80 million in 2012. The financial settlement with the Auditor General contributed to this drop.
Debt of this level is readily manageable. Council’s borrowing costs as a proportion of revenues (after deducting development and financial contributions) sits at 7.1%, well below the Government determined benchmark of 10% and well below the peak of 12.3% Council reached in 2012.
This Annual Plan will be ‘inherited’ by the newly elected Council in October.