Prego food store to remain open for now
Specialty Nelson food store Prego Mediterranean Foods is open for business, despite a council announcement last month that it was closing the building it operated from.
The Halifax St building, owned by the Nelson City Council, is rated as earthquake-prone and graded E. This means that with a seismic grade of 8 per cent, it fails to reach the 33 per cent needed to achieve an acceptable building standard.
The council announced after a meeting late last month that all council-owned buildings considered earthquake-prone were to be closed.
The Prego business owners sent out a notice this week that they were open and operating as usual.
The council then confirmed that the establishment is "still very much open for business".
City council executive manager of network services Alec Louverdis said while the building Prego occupied had been issued a Section 124 notice, a detailed assessment had yet to be done.
The council passed a resolution that buildings which had had the assessment done could be closed.
Mr Louverdis said the council had commissioned a structural engineer to undertake a detailed earthquake assessment of the building in Halifax St.
Pending the rating once that assessment was done, council staff would meet with the tenants to work out any next steps.
The council has just increased its budget to deal with building assessments from $60,000 to $200,000.
At the same time it has also had to factor in potential loss of $75,000 in rental from the vacant building in Wakatu Square which was where the Hunting & Fishing store had operated from.
The business has now moved across the road to new premises.
The building the store was in is considered potentially earthquake prone, and the council felt it would be unwise to seek a new tenant without doing earthquake strengthening works.
The Refinery Gallery building on Halifax St has been assessed with a rating of 11.1 per cent of the new building standard and the Bata building in New St, which had housed The Hub youth centre, has a 5.5 per cent rating of the standard.
Four council-owned bridges have also been identified as needing earthquake strengthening work after detailed assessments had been done.
The Trafalgar St bridge will need remedial work costing up to $102,000, the Westbrook/Brook Bridge will need $25,000 worth of work and the Poleford and Gibbs bridges in the Maitai Valley will need $93,000 worth of work.
The council said the bridges are safe and the funding is subject to approval from the New Zealand Transport Agency.
- © Fairfax NZ News