Why the proposed change?
The main change Council is proposing is the way we fund footpaths across the District. Under the current Policy, footpath replacement and maintenance is funded through a targeted rate based on the land value of each rating unit. There is a targeted rate set for each of the following areas; Geraldine, Temuka, Timaru, and Rural areas (including Pleasant Point).
This Policy was set because previously, Council did not receive any funding assistance from Waka Kotahi (New Zealand Transport Agency) for footpaths. It was decided that each community should set the level of funding for footpaths in their area. This was done through the Long Term Plan and Annual Plan budgeting process with Council and Community Boards. In 2018 Waka Kotahi began providing co-funding for footpaths.
This has allowed Council to increase the amount spent across the District as a whole. Because of this change, Council now believes that it is more appropriate to fund footpaths in the same way we fund all roading work that attracts co-funding from Waka Kotahi, that is, at a District-wide level through the General Rate (70%) and the Uniform Annual General Charge (30%). At an operational level, every three years all footpaths in the District are condition rated, and replacement and maintenance needs are assessed on a quality and use basis.
Our current Policy however, limits the amount of work planned and carried out across the different communities based on the budget set, rather than the condition rating of the footpaths. This has mean that in some instances, smaller townships are receiving a lower level of service for footpaths, due to limited funding. This would likely continue if we do not amend this Policy.
What is the impact of the proposed change?
This change will mean that the cost of all footpaths will be spread across the whole District. This will mean an initial increase in rates for the areas currently charged the Rural Community Works and Services Rate, and a decrease in rates for those charged the Geraldine, Temuka and Timaru Community Works and Services Rate. This increase in rates for those in the rural areas will be matched by an increase in footpath replacement and maintenance in coming years, to lift the quality of these footpaths to match those in larger urban areas.
The table below shows the rates impact of the proposed amendment on sample properties across the District.