Repairs force council to shift

AARON LEMAN
Last updated 13:40 20/11/2012

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Extensive remedial work to the regional council's leaky Grey St headquarters has forced the council to shift its public meetings off site.

Engineering consultancy CoveKinloch have been appointed to manage the $1.6 million project with remedial work expected to start in March or early April next year.

The project will take the council chambers out of action for up to 12 months.During the remedial project, all council and committee meetings will be held at the Deloittes building in Hamilton East.

Earlier this year the council shelved plans to build a $34m office building in Hamilton East until after the council better understood the outcome of the Government's local government reforms.

In preparation for the remedial work, the council has leased two additional offices on Grey St to move some staff to while the work is carried out.

The two additional Grey St sites are expected to cost $133,800 a year in lease costs and can accommodate up to 46 staff.

Some staff have already been moved.Council corporate services group manager Junine Stewart said the project remained ''on track'' with CoveKinloch scheduled to speak to council next month.

Councillor Paula Southgate said she accepted why the council postponed plans to build a new office block but there were other costs to be aware of, such as having staff spread across different sites.

''We've got to keep this whole thing on the radar,'' she said.

Meanwhile, council staff are investigating potential cost savings by having councillors access meeting agendas and minutes electronically.

Staff estimate the shift to electronic devices, such as tablets, could help the council achieve a 50 per cent savings on postage, courier and photocopying costs, estimated at about $20,000 a year.

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