17 June 2020
A winter-boost of one hour of free parking a day in New Plymouth’s central city for the next three months has been added to a proposed package of Back On Our Feet measures.
The parking move will run from 1 July to 30 September and was added after public feedback on a number of other measures, valued at approximately $20 million, that were proposed as NPDC looks to help local businesses and residents hit by the Covid-19 economic storm.
The change aims to give a boost for restaurants, cafes and shops in the central city with the first hour free on all metered parking from Monday to Saturday and is estimated to cost about $410,000.
The measures were adopted by the Mayor and Councillors, at their Extraordinary Council meeting on 17 June and they will now look to confirm the Annual Plan at an Extraordinary Council meeting on 30 June.
The yearly budget has been revised because of the impact of Covid-19, including a projected $5.4m drop in income. Proposed rates increases have been halved to about 2.5% for the average home and the operating budget is about $175m.
Five other measures that will boost local businesses and provide extra funding for grassroots groups are part of the package that already includes $8m in rates relief, $165,000 to support small to medium businesses and rent relief for NPDC’s commercial and community group tenants impacted during and after the lockdown.
Nearly 950 residents gave their feedback on the plans with support for all the proposals while more than 150 people attended three ‘Zoominars’ where the Mayor and Councillors answered questions about the Covid-19 stimulus measures. The measures are:
- Continuing to ‘Buy local’ and giving Taranaki contractors and suppliers an advantage when bidding for NPDC works.
- $7.5m to expand the Home Insulation scheme, providing work for tradies to make residents’ homes warmer and greener.
- $1.3m on cutting fees for local businesses including restaurants, hairdressers, cafes and builders.
- $450,000 in extra funding for grassroots groups.
- $50,000 to help property owners enhance main street buildings.