Council considers stadium options
Work has begun on investigating an upgrade of the existing Waimate Stadium or purchasing a building on Shearman St for conversion to a new facility.
Waimate District Council property manager Sue Kelly says the project aims to provide a facility which will meet the on-going needs of the community.
It follows a U-turn by the council in June to stall the community centre development.
Funding for the centre was put on hold after councillors voted in favour of adopting a flat rate rather than a graduated rate to pay for it.
A flat community centre rate of $22 has been adopted under the long-term plan, amounting to $80,000 a year for at least three years to be used to investigate the proposal.
Of the 350 submissions received on the long-term plan, 248 related to the community centre.
Of those, 52 per cent were against and 37 per cent in favour of the development.
Now the council is investigating the Debonaire Furniture building on Shearman St as a possible site for a new community centre.
Ms Kelly says the building has come up for sale and the council is considering buying it.
"This has given council the impetus to consider stadium options with a fresh approach."
The council has commissioned an engineer's report and valuation on the property and negotiated a conditional agreement for purchase of the property if the community decides that it is a viable option for conversion to a stadium facility.
There is a clause to escape the contract if the community says no.
Mayor John Coles will not say how much the council is prepared to spend but says the building will likely be available for purchase in February.
The existing Waimate Stadium needs a considerable amount of work and has been a bone of contention for some years.
"We need to do quite a bit of work on both buildings and see what has to be done on both of them," Mr Coles says.
"It will go to the community at the end of February.
"We need to hurry the process along and I'm reasonably excited that we have this other option to look at.
"If we can get it at a good price, it's a good option."
Ms Kelly says information will be provided in the new year by way of a consultation process.
"While ratepayers will no doubt have many questions about both options, we are still working through the process of assessing the functionality and viability and are not yet in a position to answer those questions.
"We will endeavour to present the information to the community in such a way that people are able to compare apples with apples."
The Debonaire Furniture building on Shearman St has a rateable value of $820,000, a floor area of 2030 square metres, a land area of 3034sqm and was built in the 1990s.
- The Timaru Herald