DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15

Here come politics from Liability Cull (spendthrift) and performance checks on integrity and guts of new chief executive Sue Bidrose (spendthrift). For every project they personally endorse come cuts to core business (and frills); and ramped up service charges not yet mentioned —with, yes, a rates increase above the rate of inflation (or DCHL will enter another disguised arrangement to borrow money for DCC to artificially keep rates down, like happened last year). An exercise in bulldust is already underway —this is THE year of driving the overworked Spooks-slaves.

Note: Council consolidated debt last cited (Annual Report) as $623 million. In today’s news, $612 million. Where did the $11 million go?

Councillors could opt not to spend the $633,000, and keep rates at 2.5%, use the money to pay off debt, or invest it in areas designed to save more money over the longer term. –Cull

### ODT Online Mon, 20 Jan 2014
Spending cuts trim rates rise
By Chris Morris
The DCC cannot afford to be ”profligate” when attention turns to its next budget later this week, despite staff trimming millions of dollars of spending to cut the forecast rates increase to just 2.5%, Mayor Dave Cull says. Mr Cull and council chief executive Sue Bidrose were both full of praise for council staff, who had produced a forecast rates increase lower than the council’s goal of no more than 3% for the 2014-15 year.
Read more

Key numbers (via ODT)
Rates: Up 2.5% (target: no more than 3%)
Savings: About $3 million
Cash in hand: $633,000
Debt: $258.4 million (down $6.3 million) – DCC debt only; excludes companies/stadium.

Key dates
• Jan 23-24 (and Jan 27-29 if required): Council pre-draft annual plan public meetings.
• Feb 24: Council meeting to approve draft plan for consultation.
• March 15: Public consultation begins.
• April 15: Submissions close.
• May 7-9: Public hearing on draft plan submissions.
• May 14-16: Councillors’ draft plan deliberations.
• June 23: Council meeting to adopt annual plan and confirm rates.
• July 1: 2014-15 annual plan active.

****

The council’s consolidated debt – spread across the council and its companies – stood at about $612 million. However, the council’s share of that, excluding companies, was forecast to drop from about $264 million in 2013-14 to $258 million in the coming financial year. –Bidrose

### ODT Online Mon, 20 Jan 2014
Council set to crest debt summit
By Chris Morris
The Dunedin City Council looks set to reach the summit of its debt mountain and start paying it down over the other side. However, Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull and council chief executive Sue Bidrose have cautioned now was not the time for profligate council spending, and discipline would be needed for years to come.
Read more

The figures (via ODT)
DCC core debt forecast*

• 2013-14 $264.7 million
• 2014-15 $258.4 million
• 2015-16 $249.1 million
• 2016-17 $238.5 million
• 2017-18 $233.8 million
• 2018-19 $226.6 million
• 2019-20 $217.5 million
• 2020-21 $202.6 million
• 2021-22 $187.9 million

* Gross debt, excluding DCC companies.

Posted by Elizabeth Kerr

93 Comments

Filed under Business, DCC, Economics, Hot air, Media, Name, People, Politics, Project management, Stadiums, What stadium

93 responses to “DCC Draft Annual Plan 2014/15

  1. Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 related:

    █ Peninsula road plan includes boardwalks
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288676/peninsula-road-plan-includes-boardwalks

    █ Feedback prompts Peninsula roadworks review
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288669/feedback-prompts-peninsula-roadworks-review
    Options:
    • Critical widening of Harington Point Rd then work at Broad Bay and Portobello; leaving less populated sections in those areas until end of programme (Dunedin-Macandrew Bay section completed a year earlier)
    • Complete critical work at Harington Point Rd then start from Dunedin end and work north (Dunedin-Macandrew Bay section 3 years earlier)
    • Start from Dunedin end and move north (Dunedin-Macandrew Bay section 4 years earlier)

    █ Library back on table [South Dunedin]
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288672/library-back-table
    Options:
    • Council development, vacant site or existing building (possible cost $8 million)
    • Joint venture development with community or commercial partner
    • Development by commercial partner for council
    • Pop-up temporary facility
    • No development

    █ Fluoride options outlined
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288670/fluoride-options-outlined
    Options:
    • Encourage homeowners to buy ‘point of use’ filters (possible council subsidy)
    • Provide one or more public water taps, filtered to remove fluoride (possible capital cost $150,000; annual operating cost $45,000)
    • Install non-fluoridated taps at Mt Grand and Southern water treatment plants, diverting some of flow before fluoride added (cost $40,000-$50,000 per site; annual operating cost $6500 per site)

    █ Fund for ‘iconic projects’ suggested [historic heritage]
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288671/fund-iconic-projects-suggested
    Options:
    • Return to earlier budgets
    • Drop area-based re-use grants
    • Maintain level of incentives, including area-based re-use grants
    • Increase allocation to incentive schemes
    • More comprehensive heritage incentives approach: increasing incentive budgets, introducing ‘iconic projects fund’ (possible cost $2 million)

    █ Mosgiel Pool isn’t going away… (DCC revelations to come)

  2. I find this pleasing, I do.

    Nevertheless, the council’s position remains precarious and the projected rates increases over the next decade are too steep. –ODT

    ### ODT Online Tue, 21 Jan 2014
    Editorial: Nothing but prudence
    The season of annual plans is beginning again, with Otago’s largest local authority, the Dunedin City Council, having issued its pre-draft budget for the coming financial year. While the figures are encouraging – a forecast 5.5% rates increase has been trimmed to 2.5% – the city still faces years of rates increases ahead of inflation.
    Read more

  3. Hype O'Thermia

    Good editorial, ODT.

  4. Rob Hamlin

    This was posted on McP in response to the article ‘Council set to crest debt summit’ (http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288668/council-set-crest-debt-summit), it did not appear for a day or so, so was buried several pages back in the comments list.

    ‘Core debt’ meaningless
    The notion of DCC ‘core debt’ is meaningless for two reasons:

    Firstly: the debt and interest payments that the DCC is liable for cannot be quantified as the DCC has entered into an arrangement with BNZ, Westpac and ANZ called a ‘secured multi-option note facility’ via its CCTO, Dunedin City Treasury Ltd. Exactly what this arrangement is, is not known, but it seems to involve considerable exposure to interest rate swap derivative debt instruments whose future behaviour and fiscal outcomes are unpredictable. The DCC ‘lost’ more than $20 million on this arrangement in 2011/12 and ‘made’ just over $10 million in the last financial year. It may be this ‘windfall’ that is supporting this low rates rise – in which case it is not a sustainable or predictable outcome.

    Secondly: DCHL group and DCC debt cannot now be separated because the DCC has committed to $850 million in ‘on call capital’ to DCTL to support this ‘secured multi-option note facility’. What this means is that the three banks named above can demand that the DCC pays this sum into DCTL at any time that they feel like it within the terms of this ‘secured multi-option note facility’ – whatever those terms are. A quick look at its books clearly shows that the DCC cannot meet this sum via liquid assets – so responsibility/liability would fall upon the ratepayer. If you are a ratepayer, then your individual share of this liability is approximately $17,000.

    This is clearly undesirable, and has been identified as such by a specific section of the Local Government Act (Section 62) which seeks to stop councils from entering into this kind of business guarantee arrangement. The minutes of the relevant Finance and Strategy Committee meeting make it perfectly clear that this ‘secured multi-option note facility’ arrangement was entered into specifically to circumvent Section 62 of the Local Government Act which specifically forbids the granting of debt guarantees to council owned trading companies. Unfortunately, Parliament did not identify ‘on call capital’ as a mechanism that has precisely the same outcome when they drafted this legislation.

    I don’t like this, and neither did Dave Cull at the time. The minutes make it clear that the purpose of this arrangement was made explicit to those who were present and voted on it. The minutes record that he voted against it – in a motion that was carried by a single vote.

  5. DCC spending continues apace in the tiny warehouse area that privilege’s the very few. Thanks, Daaave and CE Bidrose. If protrusions aren’t enough, look out for brash-awful street furniture.

    ‘Amenity improvements’ in Dunedin’s warehouse precinct will take several months to complete. Downer is to construct kerb extensions, paving and drainage in Crawford, Rattray, Vogel, Water and Bond Sts; as well as renew sewers in the area.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288799/warehouse-precinct-improvements-continue

  6. Does this mean the costs pertaining to the ‘Amenity improvements in Dunedin’s warehouse precinct will be buried in the infrastructure water and sewerage budget? That would be a neat trick. If this is so, here’s a suggestion for further thought. Why not simply direct the cyclists through the sewers? A huge cost saving, no parking disruptions, no more road fatalities. Just a small social aromatic problem for the cyclists. Easy on the city’s coffers though.

    • ### dunedintv.co.nz January 21, 2014 – 7:05pm
      Street make-over for Dunedin’s warehouse precinct
      Redeveloped historic buildings in Dunedin’s warehouse precinct are being treated to a street make-over, as the DCC improves amenities in the area.
      Video

  7. ### dunedintv.co.nz January 20, 2014 – 6:47pm
    2.5% rate increase proposed
    The Dunedin City Council has announced a proposed rate increase of just 2.5% for Dunedin for the next financial year. That figure comes under a 3% cap staff were given when they began preparing the city’s budgets. And the news means there may be some early movement on some long-awaited projects.
    Video

    ****

    At least Regent is an active fundraiser, first.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz January 21, 2014 – 7:03pm
    DCC’s support for the Regent Theatre could increase
    The cost to the DCC of its support for the Regent Theatre could increase next year. A report to the council’s annual plan meetings has suggested an extra $40,000 for the theatre, on top of an already planned increase of $30,000.
    Video

    ****

    ### dunedintv.co.nz January 20, 2014 – 6:37pm
    DCC home heating scheme up in the air
    A pilot scheme to help provide heating and insulation to Dunedin homes has been used by close to 500 households in its first year. But the future of the scheme is up in the air following government changes. The council has a long term budget of $2.2m to provide loans for the scheme, which are repaid through rates. The Government has provided subsidies for insulation. That has changed though, with the Government now providing free insulation, but only for low income households, particularly those with high health needs. The council will consider at annual plan meetings later this week whether to continue with a more limited scheme, or cancel the project.
    Ch39 Link [no video available]

  8. Anonymous

    Isn’t it lovely how the council present the annual rort and the media oh so willingly report it?

    … just 2.5% … comes under 3% … early movement …

    Awwww. Cute as kittens.

  9. Cr Lee Vandervis said it was an ”underhand way” of charging some Dunedin residents higher rates. It was not obvious when it was signed off there would be such a surplus pumped back into trying to keep the rates down, he said.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Jan 2014
    Trash cash for council in landfill profits
    By Debbie Porteous
    As Dunedin residents continue to complain about the cost of using the city’s landfills, budgets reveal the dumps are scheduled to make a $1.5 million surplus this year. Council staff say landfills have long made a profit for the council, and city councillors decided several years ago to let the landfill continue to make a surplus as a way to increase non-rates revenue and offset general rates.
    Read more

    ****

    ### ODT Online Wed, 22 Jan 2014
    Second weigh bridge considered
    By Debbie Porteous
    Dunedin city councillors will consider the option of installing a weighbridge at the Green Island landfill to more accurately charge each person for the amount of rubbish they want to dump.
    Read more

    BMC’s comment seems fair
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288888/second-weigh-bridge-considered#comment-52058

  10. Mike

    I’m encouraged by the artist’s rendition of the stadium being dismantled that accompanies the ODT’ s announcement of the latest stadium financial review

    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289050/review-council-seeks-stadium-solution

  11. Anonymous

    You cannot relitigate the past if you didn’t litigate it the first time.
    However, you *can* go back and litigate it for the first time.
    Open up *all* the transactions – CST, Delta, Project Delivery Team, SH88, Harland, the works.

  12. Anonymous

    A ceo (lower case intended) in Christchurch got jail time for deceiving investors. There’s hope for Dunedin…? As a ratepayer, I am an investor who is very distressed about the hundreds of millions that have been squandered, without close scrutiny or accountability, leaving the city facing asset stripping and liquidation. And bugger the oil for a lifeline – the city will see 1% at best, the usual shakers 2-3% at our expense and the rest will go overseas.

    http://www.stuff.co.nz/business/money/9638077/CEO-jailed-for-1-1-million-fraud

  13. My only thoughts are, “What took them so long to wake up to what many have said from the get go?” The sad thing is the enquiry and report won’t wish it away, $140-odd million plus will still be there to blight this city for decades to come even if it is given to the ORFU or the University for what we can get for it. The “birds have truly come home to roost”.

  14. More Draft Annual Plan 2014/15 stories via ODT Online:

    █ Options put to council on food planning
    It would take about $15,000 a year and a person working one day a week to enable a more co-ordinated approach to ensuring the adaptability of Dunedin’s food supply, Dunedin City Council staff say.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288992/options-put-council-food-planning

    █ Museum may get more funds
    A three-year freeze on Dunedin City Council levy contributions to the Otago Museum could be nearing an end.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288991/museum-may-get-more-funds

    █ Extra money sought for Regent Theatre
    The Dunedin City Council is being asked to commit another $70,000 a year to the Otago Theatre Trust so it can meet the extra costs it faces since the redevelopment of the Regent Theatre.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/288990/extra-money-sought-regent-theatre

  15. Rob Hamlin

    A good development. Inevitable, but better sooner than later. I have always believed that ‘optimistic’ and ‘assumption’ are absolutely the politest terms that could be applied to the cases made to support this structure. Those who backed this massive ‘public investment’ are intelligent people who know how to analyse a business case properly and therefore I find it hard to believe that they did not know exactly what the eventual outcomes of it would be. “Wake up to the reality?” – I am not convinced that they have ever been asleep.

    This perhaps explains their high levels of personal motivation with regard to public investment, but a very much lower (non-existent) demonstrated enthusiasm to commit any of their own often considerable cash reserves to the same project. The publicly recorded investment of the Trustees of the CSCT in the project remains at $10 of settled funds between them, or rather less than two dollars each – equal to a day’s worth of my ongoing contribution to ‘The Cause’ as an average residential ratepayer – Which will continue at that rate for pretty much the rest of my life..

    There were always going to be three phases to this process:

    1) Pretending that it will work,
    2) Pretending that it is working,
    3) Making sure that they are over hills and far away before Phase 2 can no longer be sustained.

    As Ms. Bidrose’s statement effectively indicates that Phase 2 is now complete and with regard to the observable outcomes, with regard to fiscal gains to related parties, and their current physical locations, one can only conclude that all phases of the Forsyth Barr Stadium project have been excellently managed and highly successful operations when looked at from their personal and geographical point of view.

    Ask yourself this – How many of the CSCT’s Trustees, Senior Stadium employees, allies in Council and ‘investment beneficiaries’ of the project now live in this town with their creation and, perhaps more significantly continue to actively support it, associate themselves with it or even show a passing interest in it?

    ‘Nuf said.

  16. amanda

    Yes. And the dear old ODT was there helping them ‘pretend that it is working’.

  17. Remember all those True Believers who called Bev and the rest of us naysayers? Remember how they called on “everyone” to “support it”, to “get behind it” – never any precise details of how to do so nor of what effect there would be if we all stood on street corners chanting “The Stadium is wonderful! Blessed be the name of the Great Fubar!”

    Online comments are way WAY different from what used to show up in the print ODT back when the Vision was rampaging through vulnerable braincells and medication a.k.a. Reality had not modified the florid presentation of the condition. Today there is one sweet Transyvanian time-warper:
    “Here’s an idea. Why don’t they get someone in that will advertise it properly. There is no reason why we can’t get concerts down this way or other events, other places seem to be able to acheive it. …. If they extend the runway to allow bigger planes into dunedin and just build the hotel, maybe then people will come…..”
    (whole comment is on http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289113/operating-model-pie-sky#comment-52200)

    It’s gently sad, as nostalgia often is. No longer “build it and they WILL come.” Even this grasper at straws is less than wholly convinced: “maybe then people will come”. Maybe…..

    At the time when others are belatedly eyeballing the nightmare a fellow can still dream, can’t he?

  18. ODT DAP stories cont/

    █ Library debate drags on
    The Dunedin City Council will consider funding a temporary library in South Dunedin as a stopgap measure, after Mayor Dave Cull yesterday urged councillors to help an area ”neglected for decades”.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289255/library-debate-drags

    █ Discretionary role favoured
    Its preference is not to have a permanent representative on the board of the trust that runs the Regent Theatre, but instead make provisions to have someone sit on the board at the council’s discretion, the Dunedin City Council has decided.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289243/discretionary-role-favoured

    █ Book Bus review a possibility
    Plans for a South Dunedin community complex – including a library – could spell the end for some of the city’s urban Book Bus routes, a Dunedin City Council manager says.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289242/book-bus-review-possibility

  19. Draft Annual Plan

    █ Council signal on Mosgiel pool
    The Dunedin City Council has sent a signal to the Mosgiel community. The council has no money for big new projects and while it will help out where it can, the community must drive the project to build a new pool or it will likely not happen, councillors cautioned.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289241/council-signal-mosgiel-pool

  20. ### dunedintv.co.nz January 27, 2014 – 7:08pm
    Ratepayers now facing a 3% rate increase
    Dunedin ratepayers are now facing a 3% rate increase, as decisions made at a budget meeting took the figure to a self-imposed limit. Despite reaching the increase ratepayers were promised would not be exceeded, the council still found some extra money to pay off debt more quickly.
    Video

  21. Jacob

    Mosgiel Pool. The suggestion from council is for the community board to set up a trust with $30k of ratepayers’ money, to do the consultation and get the public to buy in and dig deep and pay for this $12-$18 million project. It doesn’t take long to work out. This is the same setup that led us up the garden path with the stadium. At last count there were four pools in the area to serve the local population. What happens to them. Will they become another liability like Carisbrook? What and who actually is driving the need for a new pool? I recently asked someone who is close to this out in Mosgiel if there has been an analysis done on the need for a new pool, and was told no. But a certain developer in Mosgiel’s main street has plans for himself and his mates to get the public to front up with the money for the building, then they will be able to base some of their business on site at no cost to themselves. Mosgiel is becoming the dog of the city. Big new industrial area was trumpeted a few years ago, to be the answer to the lack of industrial land needed to attract industry to come to Dunedin, sits empty and of no use to anyone. Then we had all the new residential areas opened up in Mosgiel. Most are half empty with spec houses; good rural productive land doing nothing and going nowhere, while the stormwater drains in Mosgiel only work during a drought, and the roads are a mess, no more seal extension. Mosgiel is becoming known as the land of the retirement village and the mobile scooter. Why spend so much on a pool when so many other basic requirements are not being met. Leave it to the community board? Yeah Right.

  22. Jacob

    Elizabeth. The ODT do not want to know. They might lose some advertising revenue from those Rorting fuckers. You know how it works.

    • Well it’s gonna have to go into submissions on the Draft Annual Plan – spelt out in large font size.
      Meantime I’ll try to convey my hate of this ‘developer method’ at ODT.

  23. Jacob, that’s VERY interesting. What are the 4 pools? At schools I suppose. Are they available for public use after school, weekends and holidays? If not why not?
    If not it’s likely because of the extra costs that the schools would face for supervision, filtering, box-ticking and clip-boarding – costs that could surely be covered by the DCC way-way cheaper than a new pool.
    Any further information you can provide will be very welcome. I for one had believed the sob-story about poor old Mosgiel, not so much as a paddling pool to dabble its elderly feet in.

    • All about upping the price of those repugnantly Dippie&Co-Ugly residential developments scattered over High Class Soils… leisure and amenity for flat-head-plonkers who like new tickytacky houses on a flood plain. The kind of people who speculate on property instead of investing in NZ startups and company R&D and export production.

      I’m having a bad Mondayitis attack.

  24. Jacob

    Hype. Not being a res of Mosgiel I am not able to answer your question, but I have good contacts out that way who tell me that most of the pools are available, and maybe there are more than the 4 that I mentioned. By the way what is so special about Mosgiel having a new pool, areas like Green Island, Normanby and out on the Peninsula appear not to have one and are just as far from Moana pool as Mosgiel. It appears that the homework for a new pool hasn’t been done out at Mosgiel, but it appears that it was just being used as an attention grabber for the election and that didn’t appear to work either. Like I mentioned before, this has all the hallmarks of another stadium, all bullshit and no substance, just wait to see who gets appointed by the board to do the consultation. The whisper is that it is all cut and dried.

    • Jacob. Appears some LGOIMA requests need to go in for Mosgiel Pool.

    • “Pool For Mosgiel” has been such a steady cry, I thought there must have been deep longstanding demand for it.
      The school pool at Ocean Grove (I think it was, in Tomahawk direction, could be T’h) which was a genuine community facility got whammed by a tickbox and declared an earthquake risk – as I write this I wonder can this possibly be what I was told by a resident whose family were regular users of it? Earthquake risk – all the water gets tossed into the air and lands on a passer-by? Anyway the costs to the little school of water testing umpteen times a day, and trained lifeguards and a helipad for rushing people to hospital if they stubbed a toe on the concrete and all the other Elf Inanity rules & regs meant they had to close it. Not so far away as Mosgiel, but far harder to get from there to Moana pool, bus service really poor.

  25. “The council was awaiting the results of its review of the Forsyth Barr Stadium’s operating model, which could change the situation.” (ODT)

    ### ODT Online Tue, 28 Jan 2014
    Spending warning, rates likely up 3%
    By Chris Morris
    The Dunedin City Council has pencilled in a 3% rates rise for its next budget, but only after a last-minute warning the council was ”tempting fate” by planning to spend $600,000 in hard-earned savings. Councillors yesterday ended three days of debate and deliberations by signing off on a draft budget for the 2014-15 year containing the 3% increase.
    Read more

    ● The draft annual plan will be released for public consultation in March.

  26. Draft Annual Plan

    █ $50,000 fund to explore savings
    The Dunedin City Council hopes more funding to investigate potential savings initiatives could create a snowball effect that benefits ratepayers.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289519/50000-fund-explore-savings

    █ Agreement to consider weighbridge for landfill
    Councillors under fire from Dunedin residents about fees at the Green Island landfill have agreed to at least consider a weighbridge option.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289521/agreement-consider-weighbridge-landfill

    █ Staff explain surplus
    Dunedin City Council staff yesterday moved to explain further the surplus made by the council’s solid waste activities.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289520/staff-explain-surplus

    █ $22,000 proposed to progress food resilience options
    They debated it for an hour and a-half and, even though some of them did not understand what it was, in the end most of them voted to ask ratepayers if they wanted to spend $22,000 on it. [via motion by Cr Hawkins, that Council employ a part-time staff member to progress the work, at a cost of $22,000; resolution passed by majority of councillors]
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289522/22000-proposed-progress-food-resilience-options

    █ Hearing support criticised
    The Dunedin City Council’s support for lengthy public consultation over exploratory oil and gas drilling has been criticised by one of its own councillors. Cr Andrew Whiley took aim at the stance at the end of the council’s draft budget hearing yesterday, saying it amounted to a ”huge barrier to business”.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289510/hearing-support-criticised

    • ### ODT Online Sat, 8 Feb 2014
      Councillors to weigh up landfill charging options
      By Debbie Porteous
      Dunedin city councillors will decide next week which of two new landfill charging regimes the public should be consulted about. The options are a weighbridge or a more refined version of the present charging structure, based on item or vehicle size.
      Read more

  27. Whippet

    Agreement to consider weighbridge for landfill.
    What a brilliant statement from Cr Lord “Common sense needed to be applied to the present charging system.” Yet he makes no suggestion what he thinks common sense might be. One can only wonder why these people stand for council. Ego, money, get away from the wife and kids ?

    • Anonymous

      Here’s a commonsense idea. Just undo this latest version of idiocracy instead of paying for another weigh-bridge. Move the person responsible for that farce to the Hiding-Behind-Bushes-Watching-Old-Ladies-Feed-Ducks Department. Seriously – WTF is wrong with these people? The previous system worked adequately, so they remove commonsense by enforcing absurd charges and then their response to that is spend more money on something else? Whomever is providing the weigh-bridge solution clearly has mates on the inside. Many of the council’s so-called business decisions just look like bloody backhanders and invoice fraud.

      • Many of the council’s so-called business decisions just look like bloody backhanders and invoice fraud.

        Yep, if the house isn’t in order it looks like that, or it is.
        My last hours in horrorville contemplating everything that’s going down with, in particular, Mosgiel Pool… Colin Weatherall’s legacy, Bill Feather’s deliberate flouting of community board/committee procedure, and developer/speculators driving projects to rob poor ratepayers and residents, by twist-and-shoves to the district plan, as usual. Help the 1%, let 99%ers rot. Nah, surely DCC isn’t this bad, politically? “In effect?” (angel music)

        [ps. Betterways Advisory Ltd has to have a status report on the ‘Hotel’ appeal to the Enviroment Court judge by Friday 31 Jan… how scary is that]

      • The booth people were pretty fair, they used commonsense and drew on experience. A weighbridge MIGHT collect a few dollars that the booth dude under-estimates, but those will be very expensive dollars to collect.

        Another thing, the booth people’s work has been made much harder and less rewarding by the rigid current pricing. They used to use their initiative, and they had a few pleasant friendly words with drivers when there wasn’t a queue, well that’s my experience anyway. Now what is their work experience? Encountering pissed-off people who one hopes understand it’s not the booth dude’s fault but are pretty dark on it, I mean who isn’t grumpy about being suckered in another council money-grab?

        Collateral damage. An incentive to move to another job as soon as one comes up. Cost: recruiting and training, not cheap. Typical poorly thought-out council decision without taking into consideration how people will change their behaviour in response to altered circumstances. It’ll be interesting to see if the same amount of rubbish keeps on going into the tip. If it’s less, who thinks certain councillors and Dave will burble about the success of their waste minimisation initiatives? Who thinks a peek down roadside gullies won’t reveal “alt.landfill” sites?

        • Anonymous

          Oh Christ. That’s what they are up to, Hype. They’re setting up the situation at the tip to replace humans with bloody soulless vending machines! Dirty, filthy fatneck corporate bastards… they’re the ones who need to be binned. No good in them for recycling or fertiliser.

  28. Food resilience – how about selling off more high grade Taieri land for lifestyle blocks to “encourage local growers of small-scale organic food crops”?
    Shaddup, you in the cheap seats!

  29. Just like the Old Days. Seems the elected arm of council are (yet again) PRO-SPENDING on vanity projects —eg Cr Teenage MacTavish, treed, always hungry for bushy-tailed deliverance from the end of Planet Earth. But then Cr Radio Hawkins tunes in… carrying the Green Party flag, he rushes up to join her. Cr On-a-winner Benson-Pope (with Cull sprinkles) gropes for historic heritage (watch this space). Etc etc.

    Frankly, conservatively-minded Cr John Bezett is looking good compared to the new riffraff.

    Greater Dunedin is in disagreement with itself, as usual.

    • I think that Andrew Whiley has been the pick of the new Councillors : a common-sense view well-expressed. He was a surprise in the election, but must have impressed enough people to get elected.

  30. Not vanity, saving Planet Earth & all who sail in her, what could be more important? Unless, perchance, one believes that (a) Planet Earth is gonna do what it’s gonna do irrespective of a mini-city in Noo Zealand (where’s that?) and (b) the best thing the council can do is farnarkle off and let people get on with their own gardens, energy schemes and so on. Just stick to the basics, don’t red-tape productivity, don’t facilitate urban sprawl over fertile land, not even with the label “lifestyle”. Allow composting toilets (without ridiculous consent fees). Protect individual & group investment in solar panels by outlawing new neighbourhood trees and buildings that cast shade onto them, otherwise only a fool would spend the capital required to go solar.

  31. Whippet

    The only fertile land that is still available after the last council and hearings committee gave it away to their cronies, is the council chambers. With all the crap and hot air that that comes out of there they should be able to produce enough compost and methane gas to fill and heat the stadium and feed all the poverty that the labour and greenies keep telling us about.

  32. I am impressed at the absolute ‘pearls of wisdom’ dropped randomly on all and any subject by “okley dokley” Ned Flanders, masquerading as Deputy Mayor Chris Staynes. He sees “many economic development opportunities in the area of food, and thinks councillors’ thinking had been hijacked by the word resilience.” Brilliant! Then he opined that “the $50,000 fund to explore ‘savings’ (an oxymoron if ever) is necessary, in order to pursue similar initiatives which could lead to potential savings that would benefit ratepayers.” No, I am not making this up. It is in the ODT. Sublime stuff, I think he must have changed his wine supplier for his Xmas needs.

    {Links added in evidence. -Eds}

  33. So, if Staynes is right about “many economic development opportunities in the area of food” then isn’t that the business of business? You know, the people who actually make, import/export, and sell stuff and have to make a profit not a loss. In other words, totally the opposite of the DCC.

  34. Looking increasingly silly but ‘passionate’ (or was that brainwashed).
    This ‘$22,000 new staff member’ idea was put as a motion of Aaron Hawkins… [not Jints despite her plotting]
    Cr MacTavish has finally lost the plot and should be led out to pasture. Just sayin’.

    ### dunedintv.co.nz January 28, 2014 – 6:53pm
    Cr Jinty MacTavish defends new $22,000 proposal
    The Dunedin councillor behind a proposed new $22,000 initiative to pull together the DCC’s work in relation to food says it will have real outcomes. The issue attracted criticism from some councillors, who said they did not understand what it was about. But Cr Jinty MacTavish has responded it should result in more jobs, fewer people going hungry and less food waste.
    Video

  35. Draft Annual Plan

    █ Council may net $10m in sales
    The Dunedin City Council plans to sell surplus land and property over the next two to three years in a move expected to raise about $10 million.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289676/council-may-net-10m-sales

    █ DCC’s bid to boost public meeting crowds
    The Dunedin City Council is to consider revamping the way it consults its community in a push to boost crowds at some public meetings.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289653/dccs-bid-boost-public-meeting-crowds

    █ Concerns disaster insurance lacking
    The Dunedin City Council is relying on guaranteed access to a $200 million loan in the event a natural disaster strikes, it has been confirmed.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/289654/concerns-disaster-insurance-lacking

    • I have gripes with the Sth Dn library too. It’s like its catchment are all an easy stroll from the Sth Dunedin centre & that’s crap. Book buses are more use – many of those ‘burbs have infrequent buses. What about a Sth Dn Library bus card, from a shop converted into a “stationary book bus” to central library, cheap-as fares, would still be cheaper than a whole new library. And ppl in hill suburbs and further out, for whom this library is urged because it’s “fair” to a neglected centre, would still have the same difficulties of getting to the library “terminus” as they would have getting to a real South Dn library, no better, no worse.

    • Anonymous

      A list of the properties would not be made public because of commercial sensitivities…

      Looking into the cup for whom might benefit from this, the tea leaves appear to be forming… Cooties… Collies…Collie-something? Slippery Broom… Sickly Brow…the city of Sydney? There are others but they keep slipping in and out under the dying light.

      Oddly enough no interpretation is required for the sludge floating about in the loo – it clearly reflects “commercial sensitivities” as it relates to this council.

      Full. Of. Shit.

  36. John P.Evans, concerned citizen

    Drat, I can’t find the right place to air this view, but in an ODT article I just read on “what if” the final line remarks that Cr Richard Thomson mentioned WITHOUT any dissenters that the DCC should not be a property company.

    I want to congratulate Richard who it appears is one of the few councillors who have figured out that the DCC has core functions and being a property speculator is not one of them. Hoorah to him. Sue Bidrose however held out the olive branch when she said that the council should not buy any more property until the core debt was reduced below $200 mill.

    I think she should rethink that statement as if the council purchases any more property at that time it will advance the core debt above $200 mill again and the whole purpose of the exercise will be wasted.

    I cannot imagine that Robert Clark will find Thomson’s view pleasant as without property purchases one would suggest his staff could be cut as managing properties will become less arduous as and after he sells off five million dollars’ worth of land.

    He is of course wanting another staff member to sell the properties on the basis that commercial real estate agents in his words are “not interested in maximising the sale price” only in the commission on any sale.

    Perhaps he needs more ethical commercial estate agents to do his work if Colliers and other existing agents are not in effect working for their vendors! The real estate institute should also be advised if this is indeed the case.

    Let us hope that more councillors gain the understanding of what the council’s real brief is and ahould not be.

    Saving the planet, running foodbanks or growing vegetables, and creating make work schemes at the council certainly don’t appear on my requirements for the Dunedin City Council but they regularly take some councillors’ full and complete efforts.

    One of the aims of the council should be to get out of the way of new and expanding businesses, they have proven hopeless at business themselves, they cannot even run monoplies like Delta and Aurora profitably and therefore are in no position to judge or block independent legitimate business interests.

    • I was present for Robert Clark’s address to mayor and councillors. It was my impression the typically genial countenance was perhaps affected by how the political arm of the city council ‘operates’.

  37. John P.Evans, re “another staff member to sell the properties on the basis that commercial real estate agents in his words are “not interested in maximising the sale price”.”
    They’re not the only ones if the purchase, maintenance and eventual sale of Carisbrook are anything to go by.

  38. ### ODT Online Fri, 31 Jan 2014
    Chamber may back higher commercial tax
    By Chris Morris
    The Otago Chamber of Commerce says it could support a rates hike that would result in Dunedin’s commercial sector paying more. Chamber chief executive John Christie yesterday praised the Dunedin City Council’s decision to abandon the idea of creating a new targeted rate to help pay for the Forsyth Barr Stadium’s events fund.
    Instead, deputy mayor Chris Staynes, chairman of the council’s rates and funding working party, suggested this week the council could consider increasing the existing tourism and economic development targeted rate as early as next year.
    Read more

    ****

    ### ODT Online Fri, 31 Jan 2014
    Tourism operators fear impact of council marketing move
    By Rosie Manins
    Dunedin tourism operators are apprehensive about changes to the city’s marketing agency. Conflicts of interest could arise with the Dunedin City Council (DCC) taking the reins by scrapping Tourism Dunedin, some said yesterday.
    Read more

  39. What’s the DCC’s record in marketing, um, anything? Isn’t this another area they’d do everyone a favour by butting out of?

  40. Draft Annual Plan

    █ Broad Bay retaining wall work to start by end of year
    Work is expected to start on a new $900,000 retaining wall at Broad Bay by the end of the year. The 180m-long wall will repair damage caused by a landslip at Turnbulls Bay in last year’s June storm.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/290089/broad-bay-retaining-wall-work-start-end-year

    █ Backstop wall plans by year end
    Designs for a backstop wall at Ocean Beach Domain will be completed by the end of the year so they are ready to implement in the case of an emergency. In 2012, Dunedin city councillors approved a plan to sink a backstop wall along the dunes behind the beach as part of long-term measures to mitigate coastal erosion on Ocean Beach Domain, which runs from the St Clair salt water pool to Lawyers Head. The council sets aside $250,000 for emergency coastal works each year.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/290097/backstop-wall-plans-year-end

    • Elizabeth

      Lisa Wheeler said it was likely, in the long-term, a combination of a buried wall and management retreat would be used to protect the remainder of the dunes towards Lawyers Head.

      ### ODT Online Sat, 2 Aug 2014
      Sand dune protection design brief begun
      By Debbie Porteous
      The Dunedin City Council plans to have detailed designs ready soon for a buried backstop wall to protect sand dunes at St Clair beach. Councillors will decide when the wall will be built, but designs for budgets and information for a consent application are important if it is needed earlier than expected, parks and recreation staff say. A long-term plan approved in July 2012 for protecting the coastline along the Ocean Beach Domain, between St Clair and Lawyers Head, suggests the backstop wall should be in place within 10 years. […] Council transportation staff raised the work with councillors this week, as a possible solution to concerns about building a shared cycle/pedestrian path in Victoria Rd.
      Read more

  41. █ DCC eyes savings from vehicle sell-off
    The Dunedin City Council is eyeing a six-figure saving as it prepares to rid itself of surplus vehicles from its $2.5 million fleet. The moves comes as figures released yesterday showed the council’s fleet stood at 174 vehicles of all shapes and sizes.
    http://www.odt.co.nz/news/dunedin/290329/dcc-target-186500-vehicle-divestment

    • Comment at ODT Online:

      Monopoly money
      Submitted by topsy on Tue, 04/02/2014 – 6:06am.
      Of course there is absolutely NO chance that City Care will simply recover the vehicle purchase and maintenance costs (plus admin costs and profit) through their regular DCC invoicing. But I guess that is a different department’s problem.

  42. I wonder how they will manage the sale of vehicles. Will a new position be created, a DCC vehicle sales manager? Will the list of vehicles for sale be kept confidential for “commercial reasons” like the properties?
    Do you have to “know someone who knows someone” to buy one at what will turn out to be a real bargain price?
    In other words, will it be prudent stewardship of the usual DCC standard?

  43. █ This looks like staff rebellion or mutiny. A bit stressed are they in trying to pay for the stadium? Where is the Chief Executive in all this – who is serving who here?

    ### ODT Online Thu, 6 Feb 2014
    City living costs set to rise
    By Debbie Porteous
    Multiple departments of the Dunedin City Council are seeking councillor approval to increase some of their fees and charges from July 1 – including potentially more increases in landfill fees. If the present draft annual plan is signed off by councillors in May, residents of Dunedin will be looking at an increase in the cost of, among other things, dying, displaying their goods on the footpath, parking outside their inner-city homes, using the city’s landfills and sports grounds. (my emphasis)
    Read more

  44. Anonymous

    God they’re pack of evil bastards at this corrupt council. I don’t believe it’s the “staff” necessarily – it’s the executive, threatening the departments with increased expectations, who are responding in the only manner available and increasing fees.

    There are so many things wrong in those “examples of suggestions”. The “black bags” increasing from $2.10 to $3? What bullshit is that. Bags are currently $2.70-$3.10 which means the cost will be passed on by retailers so it will be $4 per week. That makes alternative rubbish collection cheaper per annum (and they take any rubbish in their bins).

    Landfill charges should not go up. They need to come down. The city needs people to dispose of their rubbish properly but the council’s greed is resulting in other action. It’s too mucking expensive already.

    Parking enforcement is a scam. It’s a blight on the city and they look like a bunch of angry wee bees buzzing the city. It’s ugly when you see two or three of them turning at the same intersection. Dunedin is not Wellington or Auckland. It cannot continue to penalise visitors and shoppers so recklessly without the catchment and anonymity of a large city. Make a point of visible policing but let people stop and park and relax and shop in town without the threat of being persecuted.

    And what’s that sinister business services charge of a “new $85-per-hour charge for plans and records sent electronically”? Is it free if I print and deliver them? Sounds like stupidity and greed wrapped up as an old fashioned “window tax”.

    The council is meant to work for the city and in its best interests. It is not there to steal from me so it can keep paying millions of dollars to overseas banks and its filthy stakeholders.

    Sue Bidrose – I will consider your rubbish fees but you must act first to rid the city of the festering toxic corruption that is still piling up about your offices.

  45. ### ODT Online Sun, 9 Feb 2014
    Council thrift worries boards
    By Tim Miller – The Star
    As Dunedin city councillors consider spending for the coming year, community board leaders hope small projects in their areas are not overlooked.
    While community board chairmen understand the need for the Dunedin City Council to look at ways to save money, they are asking the council to remember the needs of the smaller communities in Dunedin.
    Read more

  46. ### dunedintv.co.nz February 11, 2014 – 7:04pm
    Changes to landfill charges up for public consultation
    The DCC has voted to consult with ratepayers on changes to landfill charging, before making a decision on the issue. The council this afternoon considered a plan to spend $150,000 on a new weighbridge at its Green Island landfill. After an hour and a half of debate councillors voted for what one said was a decision to put off a decision till later.
    Video

  47. ### ODT Online Wed, 12 Feb 2014
    No weighbridge at landfill yet
    By Debbie Porteous
    Dunedin city councillors have voted against installing a weighbridge at the Green Island landfill immediately, opting instead to seek residents’ opinion. Councillors yesterday spent an hour debating whether to install a weighbridge at the landfill, where operator discretion was recently removed, leading to widespread complaints from users who felt prices had suddenly increased and were in some cases unfair.
    Read more

    • ### ODT Online Sun, 2 Mar 2014
      Landfill fees drive binman to quit
      By Dan Hutchinson – The Star
      Michael Miller [owner of Tidy Bins] is closing the lid on 15 years of door-to-door rubbish collection in Dunedin after watching landfill fees rise from $30 to $300 for a truckload in that time. The end of his service may be bad news for many elderly and disabled residents who rely on him to collect their bins from the side of the house rather than having to wheel them down to the kerb.
      Read more

      • ### ODT Online Mon, 3 Mar 2014
        Dumping of rubbish rife in forests
        By Rosie Manins
        Animal carcasses, broken televisions, old cars and household waste are being dumped in Dunedin’s forests. Illegal rubbish dumping, which can cost culprits $7500, has become an increasing problem for Wenita Forest Products Ltd. Chief executive David Cormack said over the past 18 months his staff had discovered a wide variety of waste, in growing volumes, on forestry land at Brighton, Berwick and Waihola.
        Read more

  48. ### ODT Online Fri, 14 Feb 2014
    Cost, risk in tourist entry fees
    By Chris Morris
    Some of Dunedin’s top cultural attractions could face a ”significant” drop in visitor numbers if tourist entry fees are introduced, Dunedin city councillors have been warned. However, any decision not to introduce the new fees could end up costing the council nearly $100,000 a year, a staff report has suggested.
    Councillors would consider the idea of tourist-only entry fees for cultural attractions at a meeting of the council’s finance committee on Monday, more than a year after the new system was suggested.
    Read more

    • ### dunedintv.co.nz February 17, 2014 – 7:30pm
      No entry fee for Dunedin museums and galleries
      Out of town visitors will not be expected to pay to visit Dunedin’s museums and art galleries. City Councillors today decided that a modest increase in income had to be weighed up against a decrease in visitor numbers, increased costs and possible stakeholder discontent.
      Video

  49. Peter

    Probably a good move by the council. It would have been a nightmare to administer and would have caused a lot of tiresome and unnecessary friction for the staff with their visitors.Who would want that?

  50. Hype O'Thermia

    Exact,y. Good call.

  51. BUDGET WARNING
    It’s claimed that some council forecasting assumptions underpinning the annual plan budget are being understated:

    █ coastal erosion repair work at the Esplanade at St Clair (”medium” level of uncertainty) [high risk of budget blowout]

    █ the review of Forsyth Barr Stadium (”low” level of uncertainty)

    █ the state of the city’s stormwater infrastructure (”low” level of uncertainty)

    ### ODT Online Tue, 25 Feb 2014
    Budget approved for public review
    By Chris Morris
    Residents are set to have their say on a proposed 3% rates rise after the Dunedin City Council approved its draft budget for public consultation yesterday. However, the move came only after Cr Lee Vandervis questioned forecasting assumptions underpinning the budget, suggesting some were being understated. That included the potential for a sizeable bill from coastal erosion repair work at the Esplanade at St Clair, and from the review of Forsyth Barr Stadium already under way, he said. His concern came as councillors voted to release the draft 2014-15 budget for a month-long period of public consultation.
    Read more

    Related Post and Comments:
    24.2.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust: ‘Facts about the new Stadium’ (31.5.08)

    ****

    Another Annual Plan line item (?)… designed to spend ratepayer funds.

    ### ODT Online Tue, 25 Feb 2014
    Advisory group for arts
    By Debbie Porteous
    An advisory group is to be established to assist the Dunedin City Council with the development of a new arts and culture strategy. The council approved the development of a new strategy in May 2012 and a council project team has been working with arts and culture collective Transforming Dunedin on a draft for about a year. The draft strategy was to be ready by April and a consultation period was planned for June and July.
    Read more

    • Received from Lee Vandervis
      Tuesday, 25 February 2014 6:21 p.m.

      Thank you for picking up on the the Risk/Level of Uncertainty issues that I raised in our Draft Annual Plan yesterday.

      ODT’s Chris Morris correctly reported:
      “However, Cr Vandervis also also questioned why the budget listed the level of uncertainty surrounding Forsyth Barr Stadium’s debt servicing plan as ”low”. New information – including larger-than-expected losses by Dunedin Venues Management Ltd – suggested that should be increased to ”medium”, he said.”

      What Mr Morris forgot to report was that CEO Bidrose promptly accepted my argument that recent negative DVL information warranted an increased level of uncertainty to ‘medium’ rather than ‘low’ regarding the Debt Servicing Plan, and she agreed to amend the Plan accordingly, with Mayor Cull then characterising the change as ‘aligning’ the DVL and DVML uncertainty levels. [both to medium]

      The Annual Plan has more relevant information in it than the last 10 years of Plans I have studied, but with accessibility still having plenty of room for improvement. P5 for instance opens with some seriously sobering Economic Development statistics for Dunedin.

      [ends]

      Related Post and Comments:
      24.2.14 Carisbrook Stadium Trust: ‘Facts about the new Stadium’ (31.5.08)

  52. Loss of NZTA funding means $2.15 million less income for DCC each year.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 26 Feb 2014
    Road funds change could cost council
    By Debbie Porteous
    Any sudden move to a new rate of Government funding that could create a $4.3 million reduction in work done on Dunedin’s roads each year would compromise the city council’s ability to maintain acceptable levels of service, the council says. Dunedin faces a drop in New Zealand Transport Agency funding […] the agency has proposed dropping its contribution to the city’s road maintenance and renewal costs from 56% of the cost, to 49%.
    Read more

    ****

    ### ODT Online Wed, 26 Feb 2014
    Club will fight sale
    By Timothy Brown
    The Dunedin City Council has a fight on its hands if it is to proceed with the sale of the Caledonian Bowling Club, the club’s board chairwoman says. The council called for submissions on a proposal to sell 223 Andersons Bay Rd – the site of the bowling club – in a public notice published in the Otago Daily Times on February 15.
    Read more

    ****

    DCC’s submission raised concerns about the opening up of cemetery provision to private operators and the additional responsibilities to councils [and costs to ratepayers] that would impose.

    ### ODT Online Wed, 26 Feb 2014
    Burial law changes cause for concern
    Home » News » Dunedin
    By Debbie Porteous
    The extent to which proposed changes to the law relating to burial and cremation will affect the Dunedin City Council – at a time when it is under pressure from ratepayers and Central Government to control spending – is a worry, the council says. The council yesterday gave its retrospective approval for a submission made in December to the Law Commission on its review of burial and cremation laws in New Zealand.
    Read more

    • Elizabeth

      More on the Caledonian War Memorial Gymnasium and the Caledonian Bowling Club.
      DCC wants to sell 223 Andersons Bay Rd, at present leased to the bowling club (the 20-year lease expired in 2012 and has been renewed annually since). “The 2013 accounts of the bowling club would be the envy of most social and sporting clubs in Dunedin.”
      The collide with Fubar stadium and shoddy treatment by DCC is described.

      The Caledonian Bowling Club and its associated social hub should not be a casualty of the Dunedin City Council’s squeeze on debt, writes Harry Love, of Dunedin.

      ### ODT Online Wed, 16 Jul 2014
      Opinion
      Community institution feels the pinch
      By Harry Love
      There is a fat bird in the Dunedin City Council nest that swallows most of the food and, no doubt quite unaware that it does so, pushes some of the smaller, skinnier chicks out altogether. […] The question, like all political questions, is one of priorities. I propose, then, to describe the impending demise of one victim of the newcomer’s voracity and to raise some questions about the priorities the DCC, as guardians of the nest, might consider. […] Firstly, the DCC is burdened with large debt, a fair proportion of which is attributable to the Forsyth Barr Stadium and which it is commendably searching for ways to reduce. Secondly, while there is no direct or formal link between stadium costs, as such, and individual victims of the DCC’s need to retire debt, it is indisputable that, in the fiscal space available, small and apparently unimportant entities are pushed out by the big one.
      Read more

  53. ### ODT Online Sun, 2 Mar 2014
    Healthy food on DCC agenda
    By Tim Miller – The Star
    Healthy food may soon be found next to the chocolate bars and soft drinks in council buildings, as the Dunedin City Council looks at trialling healthier food options. Council staff will soon report to councillors on the progress of a healthy food policy, which would look at ways the council could provide more healthy food in facilities such as Moana Pool.
    Read more

  54. ### dunedintv.co.nz March 13, 2014 – 6:02pm
    Public submissions on Draft Annual Plan to open Saturday
    The public is about to get its chance for input on the Dunedin City Council’s annual plan for the next financial year.
    The council’s focus in the last few years has been debt reduction. Its consolidated debt – spread across the council and its companies – stands at about $612 million.
    But the council says it also wants to provide small seed investments. Those could include support for heritage building owners to , seed funding towards a new pool in Mosgiel, to investments into planning for food resilience and energy efficiency.
    █ Public submissions open on Saturday and close on the fifteenth of April.
    Ch39 Link [no video available]

    ****

    Dunedin City Council – Media Release
    Have Your Say on the 2014/15 Draft Annual Plan

    This item was published on 13 Mar 2014

    Public submissions on the DCC’s 2014/15 Draft Annual Plan open on Saturday and close at 5pm on 15 April.

    People are encouraged to make an early submission and, if possible, use an online form. The Draft Annual Plan is the DCC’s biggest consultation process for the year and residents and ratepayers should take the opportunity to have their say. Whether it’s support for further funding incentives for the reuse of heritage buildings or a proposed weighbridge at the Green Island Landfill, the Dunedin City Council wants to hear your views.

    Mayor of Dunedin Dave Cull says, “The Draft Annual Plan sets out the proposed priorities for the year ahead and where money should be spent. We now need feedback from the city’s residents to tell us what you see as important.”

    Reducing debt continues to be a key focus, but the Council also wants to provide small seed investments which could reap considerably greater returns. These include support for heritage building owners to redevelop and/or strengthen their properties, seed funding towards a community trust to drive the development of a new pool in Mosgiel and modest investments into planning for food resilience and energy efficiency, Mr Cull says.

    █ A summary of what is planned for the 2014/15 year, presented in a map fold newsletter, will be delivered to every Dunedin household from today. Once consultation has started, there will be detailed information on the DCC website and copies of the full Plan, as well as static displays, will be available at DCC facilities such as libraries and museums.

    █ There will also be public meetings and roadshows held around the wider city during the submission period.

    The DCC is consulting on a wide range of proposed projects and initiatives, such as in what order widening work on Portobello and Harington Point Roads should be done and proposed changes to the Development Contributions Policy.
    Some changes to fees and charges are also planned, such as increases to fees for dangerous dogs, LIMs and in some Building Services areas and a rise in St Clair Hot Salt Water Pool charges to match those at Moana Pool.

    Last year’s Draft Annual Plan attracted 262 submissions, covering 190 topics.

    Further details and an online submission form will be available at http://www.dunedin.govt.nz/draft-annual-plan from 7am on Saturday.

    Contact Mayor of Dunedin, Dave Cull on 477 4000.

    DCC Link

  55. Hype O'Thermia

    Food resilience! Jesus wept. Has anyone defined in practical terms what it means? Council-owned warehouse full of baked beans and sacks of rice for when the earthquake levels all our heritage buildings and blocks roads in and out of Dunedin? Or wishywashy feelgoodery requiring fact-finding trips, conferences, think-tanks, meetings, publicity campaigns, rates-paid Food Resilience Education and Encouragement Coordinator, FREEC pronounced freak, to talk to schools and community groups about vegetable gardens? In other words, green ap-pease pudding with lashings of bullshit, an initiative that makes even the rorty Mosgiel Pool look like close-to-the-core business.

    • Food Resilience Education.

      Dear City Council

      Re: Draft Annual Plan 2014/15
      Make available a deep and commodious hopper of rotten tomatoes at The Octagon post haste, that The People may cast the BS Mayor Daaave Liability Cull and his junior weak-kneed sidekick, councillor Jintish Mactavy, into the fermenting soup never to rise again. Seal with a resilient leaden weight, label, and store in a hot place for 100 years.

      When opened, whirl the rotten tomatoes with some water and eggshells in a giant food processor, liberally apply this mix to soil that you plan to plant tomatoes in, this a GREAT fertiliser for tomato plants! Tomatoes love calcium.

      The Croppers, Outram

  56. ### ODT Online Fri, 14 Mar 2014
    Ratepayers asked to have a say
    A newsletter setting out the Dunedin City Council’s proposed priorities for the year ahead and where it thinks rates money should be spent is landing in Dunedin mailboxes this week. The document points people to where they can have their say on what they support in the council’s draft annual plan, and what they think councillors and staff have got wrong.
    Read more

  57. Moved here from another thread, relevance. Site Admin

    Calvin Oaten
    Submitted on 2014/03/17 at 1:27 pm
    Not sure where this belongs. But here is a letter I submitted to the ODT which has been rejected.

    On 14/03/2014 10:11 PM, 2014 Calvin Oaten wrote:
    The new 2014/15 Draft Annual Plan newsletter arrived in my letterbox as promised. In the Mayor’s preamble, Dave Cull pointed out that the consolidated debt across Council and all Council companies stood at $622 million. The Council’s direct share, is projected to reach $265 million this year, and to drop to $190 million by 2021/22, as a result of a focus on accelerating debt repayment.

    Not true. If we look at the Gross Debt chart below, the dotted line shows a peak of $400 million. That, of course, includes the debt pertaining to the Stadium. A difference of $135 million. Now because the stadium was sold off to a structured company, DVL, does not mean it disappears. The stadium was instigated by council, presented and sold to the citizens by council, and funded to completion by council. That means it is, and remains council’s responsibility. DCHL had no input at all in the decision, nor the implementation of it. So why can we not be honest and accept it as council’s debt?

    If it was honest, council would acknowledge that DVL’s balance at 30/06/13 showed Equity started at $77.689m (share capital) less carried forward deficits of ($9.117m) plus Derivative Financial Instruments at risk ($5.289m) for total equity of $63.283m. The Total Liabilities (debt) stood at $151.332m which means the overall position is in a serious negative trend, notwithstanding the fact that the DCC contribution has been increased to $2 million per year from July 1, 2013. This is additional capital to enable the loans to be repaid in 18.5 years as opposed to the 40 years originally envisaged. That, of course comes from the ratepayers.

    Then, when we look at the performance of the management of DVML we find that since opening till 30/06/13 it has accumulated losses of ($7.256m), and we just recently were advised that it is on track to record a ($1.4m) loss this year. It is obvious that this venue will be on life support permanently into the future despite all assurances to the contrary.

    All this tends to make a mockery of the mayor’s entreaties about reducing the debt, and at the same time funding new capital projects like the Peninsula road/cycling facility at some $27.7m over the next twelve years. Not even mentioning the Economic Development Plan aiming for 10,000 new jobs, plus a lift in annual incomes of $10,000pa, all in ten years. Mayor Dave Cull says there is a surplus in the budget of $633,000 unallocated. But already council wants to use $454,000 of that for spending to provide a positive long-term return to Dunedin. Huh? The remaining $179,000 has been earmarked to accelerate debt repayment. Great! $622m less $179,000 equals $621.821m remaining.

    Sorry, but I just can’t seem to believe in any of this.

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