Ratepayers have their say on plan

LOUISE BERWICK
Last updated 05:00 16/05/2014

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Funding a co-ordinator for South Alive rankled many, while helping the needy struck a chord with dozens more.

About 302 submissions were received by the council for its draft Annual Plan, with 52 verbal submissions heard yesterday.

Several issues were continuously raised including support for donating to the Bluff Coastguard and angst over the council being owners of Rugby Park.

Yesterday, presentations covered everything from the building of an eco-house in South Invercargill to a thank you from the Southland Motorcycle Club.

Council watcher and veteran submitter Alan Swallow presented his thoughts on a range of topics in the plan and questioned why there was any rates increase when the council had such a successful holding company.

Invercargill resident Tim Mulligan said in his written submissions that he was opposed to council supporting Rugby Park.

Council watcher and submitter Mary Ward said she was disgusted by council's behaviour over Rugby Park.

"The sickening amount of sneaking around makes a takeover by council look like a done deal.

"Whatever happened to all Shadbolt's big talk of transparency?"

While many did not want to see the home of the Southland Stags funded, a temporary home for those in need was supported.

Mark Olsen was one of dozens supporting an emergency shelter proposed by the Salvation Army for Invercargill.

"As a democratic and humanitarian society, it is important that we look after people when they are most vulnerable and in need," his submission says.

Lewis Boon was one of dozens who supported the council donating to Bluff Coastguard.

"If it takes the projected life of this vessel as being thirty years and one annualises council's contribution of $100,000 it is a mere $3333 a year. This I contend is a pittance when one considers the lives that will be saved over this period."

Bluff Coastguard president Andy Johnson said the group was humbled by the support they had received and the funding was still desperately required.

"Now that everyone realises that we are just over the $1 million mark the foot seems to have come off the gas and impetus has fallen away a little bit," he said.

"The whole project is sort of hinging on these final three or four submissions because that is going to get us over the hump."

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