Billboard will need a hangout

MATHEW GROCOTT
Last updated 12:00 21/12/2012

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A new structure may need to be built on the site of the Sanson rugby grandstand to accommodate a billboard for Manfeild.

Feilding events venue Manfeild has resource consent to display the billboard on the back of the stand to motorists using State Highway 2.

But with Manawatu District Council voting yesterday to demolish the building, the billboard will have nowhere to hang from.

Council community services group manager Brent Limmer told the council Manfeild had a three-year resource consent for the 6-metre by 3m billboard.

The building of a new billboard structure would cost the council between $3000 and $5000.

Keeping the building standing raised liability issues because of how unsafe it was, he said.

The council took little time yesterday to rubber-stamp a staff recommendation to pull down the 90-year-old structure.

The decision came after structural engineers contracted by the council found the building was in a woeful condition. Foundations were cracked right through, the roof was sagging, supporting timbers were infested with borer, the staircase was cracking and the interior had been damaged by vandals.

The engineers regarded the building as not being salvageable, while the cost of rebuilding the grandstand was estimated at $465,000.

Instead it will be demolished at an estimated $26,000. Several councillors suggested the Fire Service be allowed to torch the building as a training exercise.

Cr Tony Jenson said the engineering report meant there was now only one option.

"We have discussed this at length and I believe we shouldn't dilly-dally and I would have pleasure in moving the recommendation that the Sanson grandstand be demolished," he said.

After councillors voted in favour of demolishing the building, Cr John Salmon joked "I think we almost need a moment's silence".

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- The Manawatu Standard

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