• Jill Herron

Rates Going Up, Pines Coming Down -Cromwell News

The volume of rates collected in the Cromwell ward are predicted to rise each year for next nine years, according to a new report.

The Cromwell Community Board last week viewed the Draft Long-term Plan (LTP) budget which sets out the ward’s budget for the coming decade. Many factors were effecting rates collection including increased services impacting on contract costs, overheads, depreciation of council-owned assets, population changes and district-wide impacts, the meeting heard. Effects on Individual rate charges have not yet been fully assessed however sample estimates below give indications for year one(2021/2022) of the LTP period.

The report outlined estimates of expenditure associated with the Masterplan programme of work, with spending on capital costs in year one estimated at $2.68M.

Possible project spending in years 4 to 10 of the LTP included $500,000 to develop a new skate park, $100,000 to repaint the big fruit sculpture and $200,000 to install pop-up irrigation at the McNulty Road-Gair Ave intersection.

A total cost of $3.128M for year one was included in the capital expenditure programme.

The Cromwell Community Board clockwise from top right are Nigel McKinlay, Cheryl Laws, Neil Gillespie, Robin Dicey, Buch Buchanan, Werner Murray and centre Anna Harrison(chair).

Council staff were currently presenting draft budgets to each community board in Central Otago. Once adopted these would be provided to the Central Otago District Council for inclusion in a consultation document, the report stated. Community consultation was set for March/April.

CODC mayor Tim Cadogan told the Board there would be difficult decisions to be made mid-year around Long-term Plan matters.

“In Cromwell the LTP will put budgets in place for significant factors in the Cromwell Masterplan making it arguably the most significant LTP for this ward ever.”

He said LTP years on their own were “big beasts to deal with” but this time around was one of many big things coming the board’s way.

“This LTP is going to be a particularly difficult one as elected members wrestle with cost increases we have no control over, the wishes of some in the community and the difficulties others will have to pay in these difficult times.”

A major central government-led restructure of ownership of water assets known as the Three Waters reforms would add to coming challenges.

Bowling Club Upgrade

Facilities at the Cromwell Bowling Club will benefit from a $10,000 upgrade after the funds were approved for spending by the community board. The Club lease the bowling club land in the Alpha Street Reserve from council and the board must approve any funds from the rental paid, being used for improvements.

The money will be used to upgrade the bar and service area in the clubrooms, which are also used by community groups.

Road Named After Popular Drop

Some future residents of the Wooing Tree subdivision will be living on a street named after one of the vineyard’s wines. The board yesterday approved the naming of Blondie Drive, Blondie being the name of a popular white wine derived from red grapes. They also unanimously approved the developer’s suggestions for two other yet-to-be constructed roads as Vintage Street and Magnum Drive.

Chainsaws to the Ready at Sugarloaf

A dense patch of wilding pines near the Lowburn Collie Club will be getting the chop by the Central Otago Conifer Control Group, project manager Robin Pieper told the Cromwell Community Board on Monday.

Others scattered on the Sugarloaf Reserve were also in the group’s sights as they worked to control the spread and protect landscapes.

A large shelterbelt had been identified as the seed source of the Sugarloaf trees but more information would be gathered before its fate was decided, the meeting heard.

Meanwhile a handful of residents from Bannockburn Road attended the meeting to hear what plans the group might have for pines located between their properties and the Kawarau Arm of Lake Dunstan. Concerns had been raised as to the trees’ status.

Residents and cycle track users had been asked their views on the pines, board member Robin Dicey said, with many opposing any possible removal.

The meeting heard that the trees had not currently been identified for removal and any stands of wilding pines were assessed to see if they served a purpose before decisions were made.

The board excluded the public to discuss a Central Speedway Club matter, a governance report and meeting minutes. The next meeting will be held on March 8 at 2pm at the Cromwell Service Centre. The public are allowed to attend but not partake in discussion outside of a pre-arranged slot in the public forum session.

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