Cycling boss defers fund request

Avantidrome boss Geoff Balme has pulled the handbrake on a Home of Cycling submission to council that had requested more public funds.

He had asked Waipa District Council to put $2 million towards a further development of the Avantidrome.

The stage 2 project has an estimated cost of $4m. The idea of coughing up more money brought the ire of Waipa ratepayers, who are still smarting from a $1 million handout in 2011.

Last week he sent a letter to the council, taking the request off the table - for now.

Waipa Mayor Jim Mylchreest received the letter on Friday from the Home of Cycling Trust chief executive which asked for the submission to be held over to a later date.

"With the project being in its early stages, we respectfully ask that our submission to the 2014-2015 draft Annual Plan on any potential new stage two development of the Avantidrome be deferred," Balme wrote.

He said there was both good and bad feedback for the proposed community hub and cycling museum that would be added, but too much was made of the request for money.

Earlier in the month, he told Waikato Times the Trust had merely floated a concept, but in his submission he wrote: "We respectfully ask Waipa District Council to invest $2 million towards the cost."

Balme said much of the feedback had focused on the submission requesting a $2 million potential contribution from Waipa District Council, rather than focusing on the wider picture "or on the long-term vision we were trying to communicate."

Mylchreest said the Home of Cycling Trust's decision to take the submission off the table was "useful".

The council is to make its final decisions on the draft annual plan at the end of June.

Waikato Times