We can’t afford to do everything. We need to prioritise and make sure rates are affordable for our community, so a number of projects have been considered by Council which at this stage, are not being funded. Here are a few examples.
We know there are concerns in the community about growth and the future use of the high level bridge. Expert advice tells us that the bridge is currently sufficent for growth in the short and medium term. In this long term plan, we will continue to maintain the bridge, and at the same time, look to plan and provide for a future third bridge. It would cost at least $65M for an additional bridge in Cambridge, and without a government subsidy (because it’s too early and the demand is not great enough), all Waipā ratepayers would carry the full cost.
You raised concerns about growth and the future use of the high level bridge in Cambridge for some time.
Council has been very clear through the draft 2021/2031 Long Term Plan consultation process that experts have advised Council that the high level bridge on Victoria Street is sufficient for growth in the short to medium term, and that the bridge would continue to be maintained, including a full repaint and structural maintenance work in the 2022/2023 financial year.
It would cost at least $65 million for an additional river crossing in Cambridge, and without a government subsidy (because it is too early and the demand is not great enough), all Waipā ratepayers would carry the full cost of a third bridge.
Council did not have funding set aside in the 2021-2031 draft Long Term Plan to designate or purchase land for a new bridge. However, it was clear through the submissions and hearings that a lack of planning for a third river crossing this was a real concern for the community.
Council discussed these concerns and confirmed that if the Transportation Strategy (due to be completed in June 2021) indicates the need to move at pace to identify a third river crossing, Council will pull together funding from operating reserves to designate and acquire land for a third bridge.
In the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan, we budgeted $6.1M to construct a new library to provide flexible spaces to read, meet, learn and participate in programmes and events. We believe the cost today to purchase land and design, build and fit out a new library is around $9.6M. The burden on our ratepayers would be too high. So we have postponed this project until it is more affordable for the community.
Several submissions were received requesting Council allocate funds for a new library in Cambridge. Due to funding constraints this project will not be budgeted for in the 2021-2031 LTP.
As part of the LTP process we need to balance the wants and needs of our whole community. We also need to ensure we are investing in infrastructure across the district. When we look at what is needed across Waipā this project is currently not a high priority.
Council has invested in the Cambridge community and residents can now enjoy the newly opened pool. Work is also ramping up on the town hall.
It’s important we have sufficient burial space to meet the long-term needs of the district. But an estimated $12M investment, funded by rates, makes this currently unaffordable. There is currently sufficient space in our 10 cemeteries to meet short to medium-term demand, and we will look to develop a land acquisition strategy for our next Long Term Plan.
On average 3.6kg of food per household ends up in our general rubbish each week. Some councils have rolled out a weekly kerbside food scrap collection service to address this issue, but it would cost us around $8.5M to set up and operate a similar service here in Waipā. Our Council wants to ramp up education around waste minimisation before a significant investment is made in a new service, so we’ve put aside $60,000 to develop some resources and will investigate the demand for a weekly kerbside food scrap collection service and what that could look like.
Growth must pay for growth. Our district is growing rapidly and we’re under demand to open up growth cells to increase housing availability. However, we must stage this growth to keep it affordable for the district while major infrastructure is installed. Some growth areas are already underway, and the next stage of development will kick off in 2035.