Change has come to Tauranga City Council

Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris

The past few weeks have seen council hear submissions and make decisions on the $5 billion, ten-year budget.

The recent by-election of Cr Robson has had an immediate impact, with enough votes now around the council table to bring down next year’s forecast rate rise from a whopping 9.7 per cent plus a new glass collection down to 3.8 per cent plus the glass.

There’s been an increase in spending on transport infrastructure, with the cycleway budget going from $12m to $20m over the next three years to connect the main routes.

This will make it easier for current and future cyclists to commute off-road. While I’m unlikely to take up cycling to work any time soon, each person we can get out of their car and onto a bike on one of the new routes makes peak-hour traffic better for everyone else.

There’s also increased funding for bus-lanes, and together with the new bus network rolling out later this year, we’ll soon have a city where catching a bus is a viable alternative.

Don’t forget the major choke point of 15th Ave/Turret Road and the bridge. Cr Grainger, Cr Curach and I are pushing to get funding in the budget to start work on either a three-lane tidal flow system or, if that’s not viable, a full four-lane project starting next financial year.

I’ll update you on other decisions in future columns. On the Papamoa war memorial I mentioned last fortnight, I’m pleased to say we’ve raised nearly half of the funds already!

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