We’re on track
We listened carefully to community feedback when we developed the Council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) in 2015 and the Annual Plan for 2016/17. Calls to reduce our debt and rates increases and to ensure we provide services to high standards have been responded to by elected members and staff.
Having heard these community concerns, limits were set in the LTP. These included a debt limit of $230 million by 2021, and a 3% per annum limit on our rates increases, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
We have reviewed our budgets for the 2017/18 year and, despite increased costs and pressures in many areas, we have arrived at an overall rates increase of 3%.
We plan to continue to deliver the quality and range of services and projects we said we would, with a few minor differences. It does mean there could be some hard decisions in the next LTP however, regarding service levels, increasing maintenance costs and affordability.
What’s expected in 2017/18
|RATES INCREASES||LESS DEBT THAN FORECAST||SAME SERVICE|
| An overall rates increase of 3%.|
2016 property revaluation will take effect from 1 July 2017.
|DCC debt is predicted to be $211 million, down from the $245 million forecast.|| The quality and range of the services we provide will be maintained.|
Some services will be improved for some residents.
Major projects for 2017/18
Most of what we agreed in our LTP is still going ahead as planned. A review of our planned projects has resulted in some budget and timing changes, but the overall impact of these changes is minor. We are planning to spend $66 million on capital projects next year, down from $69 million projected in the LTP. Here’s a summary of some of the major projects for 2017/18.
Warehouse Precinct – Work is underway to turn Jetty Street into a pedestrian area to make it safer and provide a quality outdoor recreation space. This $550,000 project is stage two of the Warehouse Precinct upgrades. Stage three will start in 2017/18 and we will be talking to the community about planned amenity upgrades in areas such as Bond Street and further along Vogel Street. The budget for this work is $1.3 million.
South Dunedin Community Hub – The establishment of this hub is a key project over the next two to three years. The hub will have some community facilities at the Gasworks Museum, with a library and other community services in the King Edward Street area. We are negotiating with owners of potential sites. We are working to set up a pop-up facility so we can offer some services in the meantime and obtain feedback on what the community wants to see in the permanent hub.
Ross Creek Reservoir – Construction work to refurbish the reservoir started in February and is expected to take a year. Dam safety is the main reason for the work. The $6.6 million project is part of a wider plan to provide a reliable source of water for the city if key water supplies are out of action.
Water and Waste Renewals – More than $14.7 million will be spent to replace and upgrade water, wastewater and stormwater pipes in 2017/18. Several major projects will be underway across the city, including renewal work in the Waikouaiti township and North East Valley, and the completion of the staged Kaikorai Valley upgrades.
Portobello /Harington Point Road Improvement – this project will widen and raise Portobello Road and Harington Point Road to make them safer and more attractive. Most of the road will be widened by between 5m and 6m, and a new rock seawall and a shared cycle/pedestrian path will be built. The work will also include seating, planting and rest areas. Construction will start in 2017/18 and $9 million has been set aside in that year for this work.
LED Street Lights – Upgrading street lights to LED lighting will roll out over 2017/18 and 2018/19. The upgrade will cost $6 million spread over the two years. We are considering what type of LEDs to use and when different areas will be upgraded.
Cycleways – The focus will be on connecting cycling routes between the city and the Otago Harbour, and on minor upgrades to roads around the State Highway One cycleway safety improvements.
Other Projects – We are continuing to plan the delivery of other major projects, including the Mosgiel Pool and upgrades of the central city and the tertiary precinct. You will hear more about these as part of the LTP process.
Further information about the Capital Expenditure Programme for 2017/18 and any changes from the LTP can be found in Section 2 of this document.
In addition to the $66 million on capital projects, we are planning to spend $240 million on providing our usual services and activities (operating costs).
This money enables us to provide the services and activities listed here:
Water and Waste – water treatment and supply, reservoirs, wastewater treatment, stormwater management, kerbside rubbish and recycling collections, landfills.
Transport – roads, footpaths, cycleways, traffic and street lights, street cleaning.
Parks and Recreation – parks and playgrounds, Dunedin Botanic Garden, cemeteries, swimming pools, walking tracks, sports grounds and facilities.
Property – investment property, property management, social housing, public toilets, community centres and halls.
Arts and Culture – libraries and cultural institutions such as Toitū Otago Settlers Museum and the Dunedin Public Art Gallery.
Customer and Regulatory Services – building consents and inspections, dog registration, registration and inspection of businesses such as food premises, hairdressers and tattoo parlours, noise control, parking operations, alcohol licensing, customer enquiries.
Community and Planning – District Plan, resource consents, grants and funding advice, events and community development.
Enterprise Dunedin – business advice, city marketing, i–Site visitor information, economic development.
Corporate Support Services – communications, finance, human resources, health and safety, administration, democratic services, information technology support, investments.
A complete list of our services and service level statements can be found in Volume 2, Section 2 of the current LTP.
How do we pay for this?
Our activities and services are paid for from a mix of rates, fees, interest and dividends on Dunedin City Council investments and funding from external sources such as government agencies (e.g. NZ Transport Agency). We are expecting to get $138 million from rates and $104 million from other sources in the 2017/18.
Delivering on our Strategic Goals
Bearing in mind the city has limited resources, we’ve worked with you to develop key priorities to ensure the city achieves its vision of being one of the world’s great small cities. Over the next year, we will continue to deliver on our strategic goals through our ‘business as usual’ work, as well as some new projects and initiatives. Some of our strategies have dedicated funding to get delivery underway.
This year we wanted to know how much funding the community thought we should dedicate to deliver our environment strategy, Te Ao Tūroa, next year.
- $150,000 would fund the co–ordination of Te Ao Tūroa activities across the Council’s activity groups and in partnership with the community, as well as kick–starting agreed Te Ao Tūroa projects and initiatives.
- $200,000 would mean we could start a greater number of Te Ao Tūroa projects and initiatives.
After considering of feedback, we increased funding to $200,000 for 2017/18.
Rates for 2017/18
3% Rates Increase
Our budget includes a rates increase of 3%, which is in line with the limit we set ourselves in the LTP Financial Strategy. We have worked hard to keep to the 3% rates increase, while incorporating increased costs in some of our maintenance contracts, staff resources, and water and waste renewals.
Impact of Revaluation
Every property in Dunedin has a rateable value which helps us allocate rates. We are required to revalue Dunedin properties every three years. The last revaluation was completed in 2016 and this will be used to calculate rates from 1 July 2017. It is important to be aware a change in rateable value does not necessarily mean rates for that property will change by a similar percentage. If your capital value increase is greater than the average value change, it is likely that you will receive a bigger rates increase. Alternatively, if it is less than the average, you may see a lower rates increase. You can find out more details about the rates for your property at: www.dunedin.govt.nz/rates
We will be reviewing our rating policies, including our rating differentials, as we develop the next LTP.
Further information about the rating method for 2017/18 can be found in Section 3 of this document.
Fees and Charges
Most of our fees have increased by 3%, with some exceptions.
The biggest changes are at the Council’s landfills. Our costs for managing waste have increased due to changes to costs for the Emission Trading Scheme (ETS), so charges for some types of waste will increase by an additional 8.5%. Fees for 100% vegetation loads have stayed the same or decreased slightly. Some new categories for mixed loads have been introduced and have the ETS charge applied proportionally to the non–vegetation component.
Other exceptions include: Library fees are the same except for charges for interloans from other libraries and charges for damage to books. Public on–street parking fees are unchanged, but there are increases for leased car parks.
You can view the full schedule of fees and charges for 2017/18 in Section 4 of this document.
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