The Kāpiti Coast District Council’s ability to purchase and hold land for parks and reserves and other strategic purposes will be greatly enhanced by a proposal to increase the funding of its strategic land purchase fund to $2 million a year, chair of the Corporate Business Committee, Tony Jack said today.

The Kāpiti Coast District Council’s ability to purchase and hold land for parks and reserves and other strategic purposes will be greatly enhanced by a proposal to increase the funding of its strategic land purchase fund to $2 million a year, chair of the Corporate Business Committee, Tony Jack said today.

“This will fix a problem this Council has had for many years of being unable to take advantage of opportunities to acquire important and strategic parcels of land when they become available.

“Successive Councils have hamstrung themselves because they did not have sufficient funding provision or the resources to take advantage of opportunities to buy land to preserve it for recreational, environmental and economically significant reasons,” Tony Jack said.

“This proposal has the support of all the Council,” Mayor Jenny Rowan said.

“When the resolution to recommend the increase in the funding was put to the vote, there were no dissenting voices. I’m very proud this Council has decided to take this step and to put this recommendation into the draft Annual Plan.

“It’s a courageous and far sighted decision which will yield very real dividends for the District in the future.

“I hope future Councils will have the courage to maintain this level of funding and that the community agree on the value of this proposal.”

The rates impact for the 2010/11 year from this recommendation, if it is adopted in the final Annual Plan, would be $75,000 (0.2% rates increase) to cover six months interest costs.

The proposal is to maintain a level of borrowing of $2million a year for the next 10 years. This will require an additional $250,000 per year which, at today’s values, will add 0.7% to the rates each year for the next 10 years.

“This is a significant element of expenditure,” Councillor Jack said. “It will be criticised for that reason but it is a realistic approach to the management of strategic parcels of land and it is an answer to criticism that the Council does not have a long term strategic approach.”

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