Hutt hopes for rejuvenation with ‘state of the art’ civic centre

Press Release – Hutt City Council
A state of the art Civic Centre and the development of Fraser Park were two of the 30 proposals to rejuvenate Lower Hutt that were up for discussion at the Hutt City Council today.

Council’s Community Plan Committee met to consider the draft Annual Plan, which reflects a significant shift from previous years as it proposes considerable investment in infrastructure and building that is designed to propel growth.

The plan proposes progressing key projects as part of Council’s Annual Plan, and introduces a series of new initiatives that the community will be invited to provide feedback on.

Key proposals include:

• Huia Pool – the addition of learn to swim and hydrotherapy facilities

• High density residential and commercial developments – extending financial incentive policies to create additional growth

• Fraser Park Sportsville Project – bringing the completion date forward and increasing funding

• Avalon Park – development of a premier playground facility

• Civic Centre – bringing forward the date of the Civic Centre work (Town and Horticultural Halls and Riddiford Gardens)

• CBD bus interchange and riverside promenade – design work and planning

A range of investments in other smaller, but crucial projects including enhancing some of the city’s suburban shopping centres, improvements to the Hutt Recreation ground, and adding water filling stations in the North East suburbs that tap into the Waiwhetu aquifer, were also included.

A new Civic Centre for Lower Hutt has been on the table for some time, with both the Horticultural Hall and Town Hall deemed high earthquake risk, and both buildings well below earthquake code.

During yesterday’s meeting, the Community Facilities Trust was invited by the City Council to present on the Petone Arena project, a boutique community arena that could hold up to 12,000 people. Council will look closely at this initiative over the next three weeks to decide whether or not this project should be added for consideration into the 2014/15 Draft Annual Plan, this decision will be made on March 18.

Mayor Ray Wallace says while many of the proposals seem relatively small in comparison to the Civic Centre proposal, all are in line with the City’s recently completed Urban Growth Strategy and Integrated Facilities Plan and all must fit within Council’s vision around making Hutt City a great place to live, work and play.

“There is considerable consultation ahead of us for all of these projects, and we look forward to hearing what people think of these proposals.

“I would urge people to recognise the importance of moving our city forward in a very tangible way. If we invest in our city, we will unquestionably thrive.

Hutt City Council CEO, Tony Stallinger states; “Council is in an excellent financial position to consider additional development in the city. We have low debt and have had the lowest rates increases in the region over the past decade. The proposals on the table in yesterday’s Community Plan Committee require only an additional 0.2% average increase in rates for the 2014/2015 year over the 2.4% average increase previously forecast.”

Council proposals need to be audited before public consultation can commence on April 15.

Copies of the summary of the Draft Annual Plan will be available in hard copy and will be distributed within the Hutt News on April 15. Copies of the plan will also be available at the eight public libraries throughout Hutt City, Hutt City Council run swimming pools, the Lower Hutt i-SITE and at the newly located Council Administration building at 531 High Street, Lower Hutt.

The community will also be able to provide feedback online from April 15 at huttcity.govt.nz.

Press Release – Hutt City Council
Hutt City Council will begin its annual survey of residents next week to track public perceptions of Council services and representation. Seeking public opinion from the Communitrak(tm) survey will assist Council with analysing and benchmarking its performance.

Mayor Ray Wallace says “the questions reflect areas of interest to Lower Hutt and I am encouraging the community to have their say. We are here to serve the needs of residents and that means council must go out and actively find out what people are thinking. One of the best ways to do this is to interview a representative cross-section of residents.”

The survey will be conducted by the National Research Bureau, an independent research company offering specialised services to local authorities throughout New Zealand.

The randomised telephone survey will cover the six city wards and will seek opinions about a wide-ranging list of city council services delivered to residents.

The survey will begin on Friday 7 March, and is expected to be completed by Sunday 16 March.

 

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