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Saturday
May122012

Thames CB Submision on TYP

The TCB Submission to the Hearings Meeting yesterday contained few surprizes, but I suspect that by Monday afternoon, reality will have set in after the financial baseline has been explored by Finance Manager Steve Baker – always interesting to watch councillors during this process as they begin to see their favourite projects slipping further down the line.

I have inserted Gunna's comments in italics - I suspect that he has inside knowledge of what goes on in there, and his comments are mostly right on the mark

The specific requests made by the Board were:

1. $90,000 for Strategic Planning (Local)– this is Strat’s Focus Group Thames, which must be in some doubt following Wyn Hoadley’s little outburst the week before when she indicated that she would “have nothing to do with it”.

"$90k for strategic planning. How come the ratepayer has to pay the cost for local business to do business planning? This equates to 1 person full time for a year doing this, yeah right. The cost will be around $18 per Thames ratepayer, with a very limited ratepayer benefit".

2. $55,000 to bring the Rail-Trail into the CBD. This whole project from Kopu to Thames is under pressure due to Ngati Maru intransigence, and unco-operative land owners. The only undertaking given during the negotiations was to a Totara Terminus, but naturally everyone wants it to get into the CBD, and as far as the Model Railway, if Bruce Oliver has anything to do with it – he of course has commercial interests, and in a separate submission pushes for the Council to purchase the Placemaker site for the purpose.

"$55k for rail trail. TCDC just gave them $450k, and the mayor promised that no more ratepayer funding would be given. The original $450k was given based on the railtrail terminating in Thames. So whats changed? By the way, blueprint has the rail trail terminating just near the bird hide in front of bus park and adjacent to carparks".

3. $200,000 for the development of the Mackay St. carpark purchased from the Thames Bowing Club – already well under way.

$200k for land purchase. No work has started on the carpark yet, the current work is completion of an astroturf green by the club. Still the perfect location for a swimming pool in the future, and I understand the purchase of the land is "for carparking and community service purpose".

4. $150,000 for a Skate-Park for 2012/14 opposite the Police Station (a permitted use, in case you were wondering)  

"$4m zoom zone. How in the name of zeus's proverbial did the grandstand and the pool suddenly get included in this?"

5. $4m. for Zoom Zone for 2014/16 for ‘Community Sports Facilities”. The purpose has changed in a most confusing manner to cover the Dry Court, a new Rhodes Park Grandstand, and a new Swimming Pool. It requires a “collaborative community partnership, and external funding sources”. It appears that the Dry Court gets the initial nod, but there was strong opposition expressed during the Hearing from submitters who say that it is unfair, unnecessary, and unaffordable for the majority of ratepayers. You know where I stand on tha matter.

"$4m zoom zone. How in the name of zeus's proverbial did the grandstand and the pool suddenly get included in this?"

6. $11,000 for ‘Tier 3 Halls’ – with a strong plea for this funding to continue when this funding has already been removed by Council in the Draft TYP. This is an emotional issue with our Board., and will be argued with passion next week.

"$11k for tier three halls. Most in the thames area are hardly used, if they are used less than a certain number of days each year, they should not be funded. the days of the 1950's halls are long gone. At least one (tairua) is well administered and run, and very popular, this deserves to have funding as it remains a very important facility in the community".

7. Wintec Building – sell it as is, and return the proceeds to the TUGPR account from whence the purchase price originally came – it requires expensive roof repairs.

8. $500,000 additional for the Library, again for a leaking roof.

"library roof $500k. Sell Wintec building and use the proceeds to pay for the roof. there may be even enough left to do some library extension / improvement of IT services. Cost neutral to raterpayers. Roof only to be done once the building is sold".

9. $90,000 for the Information Centre – this is a substantial increase on the grounds that it is the District ‘point of entry’ and therefore deserves more than other centres. It also wants the i-SITE moved to somewhere in the cetre of towm, though how it will be able to maintain its bus-stop role there is hard to imagine. Cr Connors is of course a strong advocate for the i-SITE.

"$90k for a the isite? Heres a thought, use the strategic planning money for this if you must have some local business development. Does a really good job, but I cant understand how it costs so much to fund, especially with all the commissions etc from the bookings and initiatives such as the driving licenses. Shame they never tendered to run the rail trail - seems there is some serious ticket clipping gonna happen with that one (but thats another topic for you Bill, which you have surprisingly not commented on yet!) 9. 25% diff on pans - if I was a club I'd be pouring concrete down most of my toilets".

10.  $50,000 (District) funding for a Youth Programme – not specified!

"$50k for a youth programme - what does central government do around this? What does Sport Waikato do around this (not much, take a look at the Thames section of the Sport Waikato website). Leave this to agencies such as Project Energise, Sport Waikato (which we already fund) clubs and schools, CILT, and other local trusts funding and supporting youth initiatives. Although a "nice to have", this is not a core Council function".

11.  $15,000 for a contestable “incentive fund” for retention of ‘natural and cultural heritage”. I guess this is to assist with heritage upkeep, but it is not clear.

12. 25% differential pan charges for sports clubs. This could cost plenty – un-quantified, and a reaction to threatened closures resulting from current charges.  

13.  $11.3m for Thames Valley, and Matatoki water schemes. This is a nonsense that has been hanging around since Adam was a boy, and has no merit whatsoever, Fortunately, the Mayor is taking no nonsense on this, and has demanded a tank alternative from staff that may cost a million or so. The fight will be with the national and regional water authorities who are imposing unrealistic quality standards with Resource Consent renewals. Peter Woods gave an impassioned report on this situation yesterday that along with many others supports the Mayor’s position on this. Thames should remove this item from their wish-list forthwith, because it is simply a smokescreen to impose District wide standardised water charging following on the wastewater debacle.

"Matatoki - wow, I cant believe Im agreeing with Buffoon Leach, but I am! Tell the goverment to stick the standard where the sun dont shine.

Whew, got a lot of my chest with that one - thanks Bill!"

 14.  Removal of fluoride from Thames water supply. Thank heaven that this ‘furphy’, promoted by a bunch of well meaning, but mis-guided opponents has been thrown out – principally I suspect because of well measured intervention by Cr French who was prepared to investigate the pros and cons when many other members were prepared to listen to dopey presentations earlier last year. Hopefully it will die, but as we all know, it will spring to life again before the next election.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (3)

I'll start the ball rolling with a couple of comments.
1. $90k for strategic planning. How come the ratepayer has to pay the cost for local business to do business planning? This equates to 1 person full time for a year doing this, yeah right. The cost will be around $18 per Thames ratepayer, with a very limited ratepayer benefit.
2. $55k for rail trail. TCDC just gave them $450k, and the mayor promised that no more ratepayer funding would be given. The original $450k was given based on the railtrail terminating in Thames. So whats changed? By the way, blueprint has the rail trail terminating just near the bird hide in front of bus park and adjacent to carparks.
3. $200k for land purchase. No work has started on the carpark yet, the current work is completion of an astroturf green by the club. Still the perfect location for a swimming pool in the future, and I understand the purchase of the land is "for carparking and community service purpose".
4. $4m zoom zone. How in the name of zeus's proverbial did the grandstand and the pool suddenly get included in this?
5. $11k for tier three halls. Most in the thames area are hardly used, if they are used less than a certain number of days each year, they should not be funded. the days of the 1950's halls are long gone. At least one (tairua) is well administered and run, and very popular, this deserves to have funding as it remains a very important facility in the community.
6. library roof $500k. Sell wintec building and use the proceeds to pay for the roof. there may be even enough left to do some library extension / improvement of IT services. Cost neutral to raterpayers. Roof only to be done once the building is sold.
7. $50k for a youth programme - what does central government do around this? What does Sport Waikato do around this (not much, take a look at the Thames section of the Sport Waikato website). Leave this to agencies such as Project Energise, Sport Waikato (which we already fund) clubs and schools, CILT, and other local trusts funding and supporting youth initiatives. Although a "nice to have", this is not a core Council function.
8. $90k for a the isite? Heres a thought, use the strategic planning money for this if you must have some local business development. Does a really good job, but I cant understand how it costs so much to fund, especially with all the commissions etc from the bookings and initiatives such as the driving licenses. Shame they never tendered to run the rail trail - seems there is some serious ticket clipping gonna happen with that one (but thats another topic for you Bill, which you have surprisingly not commented on yet!)
9. 25% diff on pans - if I was a club I'd be pouring concrete down most of my toilets.
10. Matatoki - wow, I cant believe Im agreeing with Buffoon Leach, but I am! Tell the goverment to stick the standard where the sun dont shine.
Whew, got a lot of my chest with that one - thanks Bill!

May 12, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterGunna

1] crazy -use a target rate on businesses as has Hauraki District
2] the original railtrail as mooted by PM Key was from Kaiua to Kopu -- Kopu to Paeroa --etc--- the actual township of Thames was never in the mix- and this and previous Councils knew that
4] good site for skateboard park --Police can keep an eye on it!!
5] only need two projects --multi use facility at Rhodes Park and a swimming pool - ZZ need to show us the colour of their money first.
7] sell the old RSA 'where is as is'-- repairing the roof is a major - and the Board was warned many times about the eventual costs
8] the library blding is becomming very expensive - recent upgrade of its ailing airconditioning units - now a new roof - what next - it didn't cost much more than that amount of money to build it in the 90's
9] you are bloody kidding -$90k - put the damn info centres under the control of Destination Coromandel. The peninsula only needs 3 info centres -Whitianga, Whangamata and Thames - the rest are cosy little buisness clubs - should be funded with a targeted rate in their respective towns. For years Thames Comm. Brd has been pumping thousands of dollars into the Thames info centre - with a very poor return on investment. Hope Cr. Conners declared a 'conflict of interest' in this matter -[a check of the minutes will soon show yeah or nay- as she works there]
10] - we pay Sports Waikato over $90k a year to run our programmes - for young and old - anyway it is a oxy-moron when you are going to charge a 25% diff. for toilets in sports clubs, who in part look after youth --netball and rugby - two of the largest gatherings of youth!
12] see above - lack of much thought on this one
13] still carrying this strange idea forward [staff must be worried about having to pay back DCL taken for Matatoki water - some $30k per lot previously sold] when we can purchase treated water from Hauraki District councils water treatment plant at Kerepehi and pipe it back under the Waihou river using the the 2 x .300mm pipes that HDC currently use to pump water from Puriri {TCDC side] to Kerepehi.- probably would cost about 2-3mill -after all I have heard Leach expouse long and loud about future amalgamation - here is a chance to practise what he preaches
14] yip it should be out - NZ the only country in the entire world that allows mass medication [with a known poison]
if you want flouride then buy the pills/tootpaste or have specially 'polluted' containers of milk!!!. The real effect of flouride will not be known for another 2-3 generations - and the sad thing is that there is no way you can filter it out of your water- and for us oldies it has no benefit what-so-ever - other than reducing calcium in our bones!!

May 13, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterThamesite

If Bill, you and your insightful and erudite council had taken the time to look at the Information Centre Review Tourism Coromandel undertook at it's own initiative, you would see that the Thames I site buys its turnover. From memory around $180k is generated from Intercity and Interislander sales....the commission on this is 10%...The staff input is at least one full time equivalent. As for driver licensing, if it was that lucrative why don't AA do it themselves rather than rely on the implied threat that we'll move it to Paeroa. Again, the fees generated most probably don't cover the staff costs. The Tourism Coromandel review and subsequent meetings were an opportunity for the Information Centres to reform their focus and operations. They have not done so and now Councillor Connors wants an additional 90K! The total turnover for all the centres on the Coromandel at that time was around 800k. Balance that against the demonstrated $5 million dollar regional impact of the Scallop Festival and possibly in the future, someone in Council might make the the connection.

May 24, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterJim Archibald

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