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Public input sought on ORC long term plan

Contributor:
Fuseworks Media
Fuseworks Media

The Otago Regional Council (ORC) has released its draft Long Term Plan (LTP 2012-2022) for public consultation.

The draft LTP details the council's current activities, identifies performance targets, and outlines what new projects are proposed during the next decade. It also includes financial estimates and itemises how projects will be funded.

The proposed new projects include:

- Capital works to improve and/or maintain ORC's flood and drainage schemes

- Continuation of improvements to the Leith Flood Protection Scheme

- Establishment of an irrigation infrastructure development grants fund

- Assessing potential options for improving Lindsay Creek, and Milton flood protection

- A five percent increase in Dunedin bus fares from 1 July 2012

- Investigations for new ORC offices in Dunedin, and construction of an additional building on the current Stafford Street site to alleviate accommodation pressures.

"We will continue to focus on our core business, including flood and drainage works, resource consent processing, public transport, and our educational programmes which promote sustainable resource use," ORC chairman Stephen Woodhead said.

A substantial programme to improve water management was well underway throughout the region. This included improvements to the way water is allocated; management of river flows through minimum flow setting, and the implementation of a strategy to improve and maintain water quality in Otago's rivers, streams, and lakes.

"Together they amount to some of the most comprehensive water management programmes in the country," Mr Woodhead said.

"We will also be continuing our Clean Air Clean Heat programme which has been well received in the community, and supports our air monitoring activity.

Both of these projects are helping us achieve our goal of improving air quality in parts of Otago which suffer from severe winter air pollution."

Anticipated fluctuations in general rates over the decade vary between an increase of about 3 percent to a decrease of 4.25 percent. A general rates increase of 3.9 percent is proposed for the 2012-13 year.

Mr Woodhead said the Long Term Plan was a community document. The council looked forward to engaging with Otago people in the lead-up to final decisions on the plan.

Submissions must reach ORC by Friday 27 April. Hearings take place during the week of 7 May 2012. Councillors will consider the final version of the plan in June.

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