Change has come to Tauranga City Council

Straight from city council
A personal view,
by Councillor Steve Morris

The past few weeks have seen council hear submissions and make decisions on the $5 billion, ten-year budget.

The recent by-election of Cr Robson has had an immediate impact, with enough votes now around the council table to bring down next year’s forecast rate rise from a whopping 9.7 per cent plus a new glass collection down to 3.8 per cent plus the glass.

There’s been an increase in spending on transport infrastructure, with the cycleway budget going from $12m to $20m over the next three years to connect the main routes.

This will make it easier for current and future cyclists to commute off-road. While I’m unlikely to take up cycling to work any time soon, each person we can get out of their car and onto a bike on one of the new routes makes peak-hour traffic better for everyone else.

There’s also increased funding for bus-lanes, and together with the new bus network rolling out later this year, we’ll soon have a city where catching a bus is a viable alternative.

Don’t forget the major choke point of 15th Ave/Turret Road and the bridge. Cr Grainger, Cr Curach and I are pushing to get funding in the budget to start work on either a three-lane tidal flow system or, if that’s not viable, a full four-lane project starting next financial year.

I’ll update you on other decisions in future columns. On the Papamoa war memorial I mentioned last fortnight, I’m pleased to say we’ve raised nearly half of the funds already!


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Opinion Poll

Do you think free parking in the CBD on Saturdays will bring more business to retailers?

No it’s going to add to the parking problems
Yes and it should be extended throughout the week