Feilding Promotion has issued the Manawatu District Council with an ultimatum amid funding negotiations, saying the service is at "crisis point".
After a series of meetings in recent months with council staff over funding issues, in the latest issue of its "Bustle" newsletter, Feilding Promotion chairman Michael Ford wrote that without the provision of extra funding the future of the largely volunteer-run service was at stake.
"Feilding Promotion has advised [the] council that by the end of September we need this resolved and if no more funding is secured then Feilding Promotion may not continue to exist, at least not in the same format or with the same staff and key volunteers that we currently have," he wrote.
The comments came ahead of next week's planned meeting between Feilding Promotion and the council.
Manawatu mayor Margaret Kouvelis was unimpressed at the measures Feilding Promotion was taking in its bid to attain more funding. "Basically I have no comment to make, I do not want to respond to threats or innuendo."
Currently, Feilding Promotion receives $165,000 each year from the council. This amount was used to fund two full-time salaries and the overhead costs of running the organisation.
Feilding Promotion had asked the council for more money during the long term plan process for projects including town centre beautification, security and tourism promotion, but like last year, was denied extra funding.
It was also the ninth consecutive year in which Feilding Promotion had made submissions to the council about the standard of maintenance in the CBD.
This year it had offered to manage that work for the council, which was yet to reach a decision.
Mr Ford said Feilding Promotion staff were overworked and projects lagging as the amount of work increased.
He said that they had been told by council staff that some of the work Feilding Promotion did was "low priority" and could be dropped to free up time and resources.
He disagreed with that assessment, citing the value to the community afforded by the free input from 50 to 60 volunteers.
Mr Ford said Feilding Promotion, which began in 1993, had enjoyed an "excellent" relationship with the council in that time.
"Feilding Promotion has every confidence that our meeting with the mayor and councillors next week will produce positive outcomes for the future of our organisation and the positive, proactive work that so many volunteers and our staff do in our community."
"We are excited by the prospect of working with [the council] to help them achieve their new vision and play our part delivering the new Regional Development Strategy outcomes."
- © Fairfax NZ News
What would you like the weather to do in March?