Using Loan Funding for Capital Works and Replacement

Council has long had a policy of using loan funding for Capital Works and Replacement. Doing so spreads the burden of capital expenditure over current and future rates.

Following on from my post introducing this years budget, if you look deeply into this years draft budget you will see that we are planning to have $15.7m of loans outstanding as at June 2018. This is $ 1.0m more than predicted for June 30 this year.

Our capital expenditure will actually grow by $ 3.5m during the next twelve months.

Most of this will be to fund our contribution to the Brownhill Creek Flood Mitigation Scheme. Part will be to fund the upgrade of the Goodwood Oval Grandstand. Part to provide detailed concept (project shovel ready) plans for the Goodwood Oval and Millswood Sport Grounds improvement plan. The Unley Oval improvement plan and the King William Road master plan will also be funded this way.

Whilst committing funds to these projects we will be paying back our current loans to the tune of $ 2.5m.

Loans of such magnitude can be frightening to some not personally used to loans of this size, including elected members. Having said that I remember when I first secured a home loan I could borrow 7 times my annual wage. Using that formula Council could conceivably borrow $ 280m.

That said this will not ever happen. We have a commitment to borrow no more than 80% of our net operating revenue (or approx $ 32m on today’s revenue).

Some might also suggest that we should not penalise future generations by burdening them with “such high” loans. If you have the cash to do this that is a reasonable observation.

The only way we could do this would be to increase the rates. If we did this to fund just $ 1.0m of capital expenditure we would need to increase rates in the order of 2.5%, nearly as much again as what we are currently proposing this year.

Council will continue therefore with a policy of using loan funding for Capital Works and Replacement.

Why would we provide a subsidy to Business

The question “why would we provide a subsidy to business” is resonating in the media today. This repeats a question asked by elected members at our last meeting. We debated then whether to accept a request for grant funding by the Hyde Park Tavern.

Hyde Park Tavern The Tavern’s application for grant funding was partially successful. Council voted 7-5 in favour of grant funding of $10,000. They had requested funding for half the budgeted cost of $ 70,000 for the project.

Debate on the night was lively. Many elected members I suggest argued that we are not and should not be in business to subsidise business. That is true. I agree.

The project however for which funding was requested and approved was to create an outdoor dining area. An outdoor dining area, not on their land, but on council land.

I believe those who supported the grant recognised that this business was prepared to invest in improving “our” infrastructure”. In other words it is a case not of a subsidy to business but supporting businesses who wish to contribute to improve the amenity of the neighbourhood in which they operate.

Why would we provide a subsidy to Business. I say because they are prepared to invest in their community. Because this will improve the environment in King William Road. And because this will be  a welcome forerunner to the redevelopment of King William Road north of the Tavern.

Council has been looking for some time now to reinvest in King William Road just north of the Tavern. We are currently redeveloping Goodwood Road in similar fashion. Businesses in both strips will benefit from any such redevelopment. In these cases no business will be asked to put their hand in their pocket to assist in funding the redevelopment of our infrastructure.

At Goodwood Road this means that businesses such as Gingers, Boulangerie, Goodwood Bakehouse, Two Sisters, the Capri will potentially benefit from the work we are currently doing. What about the businesses on King William Road north of the Tavern. How many of them will benefit? Should they be asked to contribute to those projects.

We should be thankful that the Hyde Park Tavern is prepared to undertake redevelopment of Council’s infrastructure. Such development makes for a thriving and more vibrant city. A thriving business district is an essential component of a desirable neighbourhood.

King William Road to Keep it’s Pavers

The Legacy of the State Government imposing on Local Government any informal meeting of Council being available to the public is on show this week with the storey about King William Road in the Eastern Courier and the subsequent media explosion.

The legislation requiring this has led to this week’s headlines about King William Road, headlines based on discussions in an informal gathering of Council that have no legal status. Headlines that have left our community believing we have made decisions contrary to our vision for King William Road.

King William Road

King William Road for pedestrians

Councillors and Senior Management discussed how the role out of our King William Road Master Plan is going. Because any informal gathering of council must now be open to the public this discussion was attended by our local press representative.

For those out there who believe the headlines and can’t understand why we would pull those pavers up and put asphalt down in its place don’t panic. We have made no such decision.

Your stress is State Government induced. By making all our meetings subject to public attendance we no longer can simply discuss an issue without people believing that the discussion is tantamount to a decision on our part.

Here is what happened.

Anyone who has frequented King William Road in the last two years would be aware we have trailed the use of parklets in the precinct. The first two have now been replaced with permanent kerb build outs allowing comfortable alfresco dining in two of the side streets.

This shows some receptivity by traders to modifying the King William Road environment between Park/Mitchell Streets and Arthur Street. Enough to suggest moving the master plan forward.

Administration advised during the discussion that with the need to consider repaving the street in the near future, moving the master planning forward was probably a good move. They did compare the cost of doing this by bitumen rather than pavers to assist us elected members understand what we are faced with.

We are likely to see later this year a report from Administration come to a full meeting of council. At that meeting I suggest we are likely to decide whether to pick up the pace of improving the road to make it more pedestrian friendly and therefore more of a destination sooner than our current program is doing.

A far cry from replacing our 30-year-old pavers with asphalt or bitumen.

If you are interested, you can view the 2014 master Plan draft here.

Transforming King William Road- where to from here.

In this blog I hope to answer the question Transforming King William Road- where to from here?

 

The need to transform King William Road was addressed in my last blog. In this blog I provide some insight into what is planned next. So…..Transforming King William Road- where to from here?

The parklets that were located in Opey Avenue and in Bloomsbury Street have been relocated as other businesses have indicated to Council  desire to have them in front of their businesses. Turning the street into a more people friendly environment is being appreciated.

The locations where there were will not revert back to the old days of a year or more ago. Use of the parklets has always been for a time limited period. These street intersections with King William Road however are about to be permanently transformed.

Opey AvenueBoth businesses who requested the original parklets are so impressed they want a permanent solution. In April work will commence on constructing kerb build outs at both Opey and Bloomsbury.

 

 

These build outs will benefit all businesses in that they will, we expect, attract people to stop and stay awhile at King William Road. They will be similar to what has already been constructed on the corner of Unley Road. Whilst built for safety reasons it is obvious by casual observation that this is a popular hang out for people shopping in our precinct.

The build outs will still allow two cars to travel through the intersection but it will be more pedestrian friendly in that:

it will be a raised area, at the same height as the adjacent footpaths.

bollards will be strategically located around  the corners

the area will be landscaped

protected seating will be provided

For your reference and knowing Transforming King William Road- where to from here the link below to our website will take you to the KWR document – page 48 describes the Side street intersections under the Curated Street Concept.
http://www.unley.sa.gov.au/webdata/resources/files/Att%201%20Item%201194%20FCM%2028%20July%202014.pdf

Transforming King William Road

Transforming King William Road has been high on Council’s agenda for some time now.

 

Respective Councils have recognised the need for transforming King William Road, many would argue Adelaide’s premier shopping strip, to make it relevant for the future. Relevancy for the future is ensuring it supports the ageing baby boomers and with that an increase in the number of people with physical disabilities. It requires evolving into the sort of precinct most likely to be adopted by the emerging Gen Ys.

Sorry Gen X but research shows that in 2017 you will have surpassed the boomers as the group with the most buying power. By 2020 you in turn will be surpassed by Gen Y.

Back to the boomers, we will need a shopping environment that will support our mobility concerns. We will need to navigate from one side of the road to the other, have ease of access to the shops. With the car being currently the most important means of moving people and with entrances to the shops being high steps this presents a significant challenge.

Gen Y on the other hand is a group looking for inner city living by preference to enjoy the cosmopolitan lifestyle. Their movement preference hierarchy we are being told is walking first, followed by cycling and then public transport in its varying forms. Cars will be (it is suggested) the least preferred means of moving people.

Meeting these needs and many others is a costly exercise and Council in acknowledging this has recognised that a gradual transportation is a sensible approach.

parkletSo we trialled the parklets with great success. These have proved very popular. They have been well utilised by consumers frequenting the King William Road shopping strip. These people are staying longer as a result and apparently are spending more while there as a result. Any negative from say the reduction in available car parks has been well and truly trumped.

So successful have they been that other traders want them on front of their premises. A far cry from only a few years ago when they would rue the loss of the car park in front of their shop.

So successful has this been that we are about to commence the next step in transforming King William Road. Please look out for my next blog for some detail on this.

 

 

 

 

KING WILLIAM ROAD SET FOR ADELAIDE’S ULTIMATE STREET PARTY

The Adelaide new year kick starts again with the traditional King William Road Street party.

 

19293_984526744908482_1801545505796801994_nWill you be joining Adelaide’s foodies, fashion-forward, wine lovers and cycling enthusiasts as they descend on King William Road for the annual Unley Gourmet Gala on Tuesday, January 19, 2016.

 

The King William Road Unley Street party is one of Adelaide’s most prestigious community events. Known as the Unley Gourmet Gala it is as exciting an outdoor gourmet experience you could enjoy, showcasing some of South Australia’s finest food, wine, fashion, music and entertainment.
The event, now in its sixteenth year, will be held on the eve of Unley’s Stage 2 Start of the Santos Tour Down Under and is expected to attract thousands of locals as well as visitors from all over South Australia and interstate.

 

The free family-friendly event will feature cooking demonstrations by Justine Schofield from Network Ten’s Everyday Gourmet and Masterchef, fun children’s activities and an impressive line-up of musicians and other entertainers such as the amazing Mini Bike Stunt Team and bands Alphabette and Funk Latin Union.

 

King William Road will be lined with an array of gourmet food stalls offering a variety of cuisines, with wines from Wirra Wirra and Tomich Wines and beer by Vale Brewing. At the Porsche Fashion Stage, clothing and accessories will be showcased from King William Road’s premier fashion designers and retailers. Featured boutiques will include Liza Emanuele, Denim + Cloth, Designer Exchange and Denim Iniquity.

 

For more information check out the Unley gourmet gala website and or like the Unley Gourmet Gala Facebook Page

 

The Unley Gourmet Gala will be held on Tuesday, January 19, from 4pm-10pm. Come along and be one of the many who enjoy this fabulous Unley event.

 

The Stage 2 Start of the Santos Tour Down Under will be held on King William Road at the Opey Avenue intersection on Wednesday, January 20, at 11am.

Higher Focus on Higher Density Development

Higher Density Development is back on agenda for the City of Unley. The Minister for Planning John Rau has announced stage 2 of the State Government’s Inner Metro Growth project.

 

It appears the minister is in hurry to get his inner metro plan down. While the City of Unley is about to commence our next DPA he is ready to role out a plethora of others nearby. It appears it is likely that Unley will experience a frenetic period of DPA’s.

While we focus on Unley Central it looks like we are going to be competing with a bunch of ministerial DPA’s. This will include one each for the following areas:

Goodwood Road,

the remainder of Unley Road,

Anzac Highway,

King William Road,

and Leader Street.

Higher density development by way of higher density DPA’s Hope this does not confuse everyone.

His press release follows.

stage2dpaconsultation

 

stage2dpaconsultation2