$25,000 spent on Waimate stadium upgrade planning

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 26/02/2014

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Concept drawings and plans for an upgrade of the existing Waimate Stadium have so far cost more than $25,000.

The plans, preliminary cost estimates for the project of $3.5 million to $3.8m, and schedule for feedback are in the submission stage, with closure on April 1.

Waimate District Council is expected to make a final decision on the project on May 6.

Council property services manager Sue Kelly said the project build would get under way late this year if it was given the green light.

"Having said that, we will be entirely dependent on the tender process, and until such time as we proceed through that process and know of the availability of any tenderers, we cannot produce a firm time line."

In the 2014-15 draft annual plan, Waimate Mayor Craig Rowley said the project would necessitate long-term borrowing and would be paid for by ratepayers through the annual targeted rate.

"We have calculated that the worst scenario for ratepayers would be no external funding available, resulting in the Waimate Stadium targeted rate increasing by $10.21 per separately used or inhabited part of a property [SUIP] in the 2014-15 rating year and by a further $55.09 in the 2015-16 year to a total of $88."

The project was launched in November 2012 after a flat community centre rate of $22 was adopted under the long-term plan.

It followed a U-turn by the council in June 2012, to stall the development.

Funding for the centre was put on hold after councillors voted in favour of adopting the flat rate, rather than a graduated rate, to pay for it.

Of the 350 submissions received on the long-term plan, 248 related to the community centre, with considerable public debate about the matter.

Of those submissions, 52 per cent were against and 37 per cent in favour of the project.

The council had investigated the Debonaire Furniture building in Shearman St as a possible site for a new community centre, but that idea was canned because the council could not sell the stadium site.

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- The Timaru Herald

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