Letters : Car park sale

Last updated 09:56 29/01/2013

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Letters to the editor

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Council spending

I read in the paper that our mayor was saying that the council would have to go easy on spending this year, as things would be a bit tight during 2013. Now the council are talking about what to do regarding converting Market St into a mall.

What is going on with our council? Do they think the ratepayers are stupid, or is it the mayor just doing a bit of electioneering in preparation for the elections later in the year?

We have had three or so updates to Market St over the last 30 or 40 years, and it is time the councillors realised that you cannot make a silk purse out of a sow's ear. The main street will never be wide enough, so why waste time and ratepayers' money?

What we have now is the best for the shoppers, shopkeepers and the elderly. Do you remember the Boulder Banks? What a waste of money that harebrained idea was.

The ratepayers will not have forgotten the mayor giving $6 million in reserves money to the theatre trust, and also his pledge of $250,000 for the annual theatre maintenance. I hope the ratepayers will remember all the unnecessary squandering of our money when they are ticking the box on the voting papers.

I would like the mayor to tell us who will be paying for the alterations to Hutcheson St to squeeze the theatre on to the site, and how they got resource consent.

TOM CASEY

Blenheim

In response to Mr Casey's letter, I would like to assure him that there are no plans to convert Market St into a pedestrian mall. This issue was raised by the editor of the Marlborough Express. I would encourage Mr Casey to read the Blenheim Town Centre Strategy Report. A copy is available on the council's website or at the library in Blenheim.

The cost of alterations to Hutcheson St for the new Civic Theatre is part of the cost of the project, and will be met by the Civic Theatre Trust. The annual grant approved by the council for the new theatre is $200,000 per annum, not $250,000. Also, $5 million is being funded from reserves, not $6 million as stated by Mr Casey.

The existing theatre has served Marlborough well, but it is an ageing facility with serious shortcomings. An upgrade to the existing theatre was an option, but would cost the same as building a new theatre, and there would still be some shortcomings. The status quo is not an option unless Marlborough is prepared to be without a performing arts theatre.

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ALISTAIR SOWMAN

Mayor

Car park sale

If the council is to sell the Wynen St car park, then it needs to sell to property developers such as those who did the Richmond Mall in Nelson and other large city malls, which later could help improve Market St and incorporate this part of town.

MARK REID

Blenheim

- The Marlborough Express

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