Hawera CBD refresh gets the tick at South Taranaki District Council hearing

Hawera's long term vision for a bright and bustling central business district has received resounding community support.

On Wednesday, a handful of residents praised the South Taranaki District Council for its 2015-2025 draft long-term plan proposal to revitalise their drab town centre.

The town development strategy will cost about $7 million and will look at ways to revamp the main street and surrounding areas with design input from an urban planner. 

Submitter Michael Prestidge said council needed to create a vibrant centre to ensure population growth for years to come.

"There are three things that would make me want to live in a town - work, where my wife wants to be and the other one is where my children want to be.

"Statistics show us there are about 900 people who work here, don't live here.

"Doing nothing is not an option."

Prestidge said the key to success would be securing an "anchor business" to the project and better access for buses.

Of the 213 long-term plan submissions the council received on the issue,192 backed the idea.

It will now be up to council to decide whether the proposal will be funded by the council's long term investment fund, rates or a mixture of the two.

The council also received support to push ahead with its proposal to lead a $6 million civic centre project, which will include a library, arts and cultural centre. The council are offering to sink $3.6m into the facility.

The district's ratepayers face a projected average rate rise of 2.4 to 2.9 per cent for the next financial year.

Over the next 10 years, ratepayers can also expect an average 2.5 per cent rates increase a year.

However, not everyone was singing the council's praises.

Manaia resident Patricia Green continued her attack over the location of the town's skate park.

Green claims she owns the land and the alleged destruction of her septic tanks.

She spent the majority of her submission time dressing down councillors for not supporting a member of the community.

 - Stuff

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