At their strategy and operations meeting Thursday, the Kapiti Coast District Board recommended 14 projects, totaling $5.26 million, to Te Tari Taiuhinwa – Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) as part of the Three Waters Better Off Funding proposal.
Projects are new initiatives or requests to accelerate, expand or enhance projects already consulted and planned in the Council’s Long Term Plan (LTP) 2021-41.
They include four new public toilets, a low-emissions power source for the Ōtaki complex, funding for economic development initiatives, changing rooms, lighting improvements, landscaping and cultural storytelling around Kāpiti Island in Maclean Park, operational funding for the Mahara Gallery, and a new building. Climate and Sustainability Fund to help drive and support total emissions reductions in Kāpiti, increase community resilience, and expand sustainability education.
The two largest proposed budget allocations are a $900,000 increase to advance at the Waikanae Library and a $1 million contribution to the Paekākāriki Surf Life Saving Club to help leverage other funding sources to replace a building affected by coastal erosion. The new club rooms will also serve as an event room for community use.
Says Kapiti Coast District Mayor K. Goronatan The increase in operational spending to support social welfare and housing programs is also a major focus of the council’s proposed projects.
“We are looking forward to injecting additional funding into the council’s housing portfolio and the housing strategy of the Raukawa Uti Awa, Toa Consortium, as well as implementing an age-friendly action plan,” says Mayor Gurunathan.
The Better Off Fund is part of a $2.5 billion central government investment to support councils to transition to new water service entities on July 1, 2024.
“With the passage of the Water Services Entities Act in June this year, reform is well under way. We remain committed to achieving three positive water outcomes for our community and will continue to advocate for our region’s interests to ensure that our needs continue to be prioritized and our needs met in the face of climate change and unprecedented growth,” he says. Mayor Goronatan.
This includes taking advantage of any financing available to us.
Of the $2 billion available through the Better Off package, the board secured $21.05 million. We have 14 projects proposed on Slide 1 and they apply to the $5.26 million that we can access right now. Should the reform program progress as planned, tranche 2 of $15.79 million will be available to us on July 1, 2024.
“All funds allocated must be fully spent by June 30, 2027, and will be used on projects that build our community’s resilience to climate change and other natural hazards, provide infrastructure that supports housing development, or enhance the local place industry and community well-being.
“As with most central government reform packages, deadlines for ‘better’ funding were tight. Limiting vigorous discussions around the council table and opportunities for engagement with our community. However, eight of the 14 projects were included in the LTP consultation process in April and May of the year Past.
“We are unable to use the funds to lower rates, however, and we are confident that the projects we have put forward provide a good balance of progress in the planned work as well as investing in the future social, economic, cultural and environmental needs of our community.
“The Board will receive notification of our results six weeks after the date of our submission.”
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