Councillors are warned there is no turning back or reducing the amount to be spent when they recommended the council approve Stage 1 of the $5.7m Wairakei corridor landscape plan.
The Environment Committee is recommending the council approve the final stage 1 Te Ara O Wairakei Corridor Landscape Plan for submission to the BOP regional council.
The Wairakei Landscape Plan will direct development of the stream corridor, providing cultural recognition elements, enhanced recreation and amenity, together with stormwater and ecological management.
It will also implement a Cultural Plan for the Wairakei Stream Corridor and Taylor Reserve, which has been developed by Tangata Whenua in accordance with the Consent.
The final Stage 1 Landscape Plan is to cost $5.77m, a slight increase on $5.63M presented at draft stage, says asset planning and information manager Graeme Jelley.
$1.31M is already provided for in the 2015/25 LTP. The funding shortfall to implement the final plan of $4.57M will be sought through the 2018/28 LTP.
The cost commitment is one the council cannot get out of because the plan becomes part of the stormwater consent the council holds via the regional council, says council strategy group general manager Christine Jones.
“Normally when you adopt a plan you can choose to reprioritise or remove elements from the LTP if you don't want to implement it. Because it has become a condition of the consent, you don't have that discretion.
“I'm just trying to make that really clear. That in adopting and approving it you are committing the council to the expenditure, via the fact that it becomes a condition of consent and therefore will be required to flow though into your LTP.
“You have got some discretion in moving a year or two here or there, but in terms of actually delivering the elements of the consent and building the 5.7m infrastructure and investment, that will be a requirement.”
Subject to Council approval, the budget for implementing the Stage 1 Landscape Plan will be included in the 2018-28 Long Term Plan.
Stage 1 refers to the geographical location of the stream corridor, which extends from Pacific View Road to the boundary of Te Tumu. Stage 2 refers to the remainder of the stream corridor to the east. Work on Stage 2 will commence in early 2018. The Stage 1 landscape concept plan was developed over 12 months from January to December 2016.
The plan involves:
• $1.3M for about 11km of shared cycleways/pathways
• $2.84M for planting about 25ha.
• $0.35M for cultural and heritage interpretation.
Additional maintenance costs associated with full implementation of the Stage 1 Plan are $132,000/annum, however, these are offset by a $30,000/annum reduction in mowing costs due to more extensive planting, and reduced costs of aquatic weed management over time.
Additional maintenance costs of $13,000 per annum are expected to be incurred in 2017/18, increasing proportionally to a total of $110,000 per annum in 2025/26. Also there will be additional costs of $220,000 per annum for interest and $180,000 per annum for depreciation when the project is fully implemented in 2025/26.