Rant or rave: have your say

The Cul­ture Groups Cen­tre in Alexan­dra

Central Otago Mirror - - CENTRAL NEWS -

I feel it is time for some facts on our Alexan­dra Mu­seum.

Ex-mayor Mal­colm Macpherson said his piece in the Septem­ber 5 Mir­ror with a story on fund­ing prob­lems. Should we care? The Vin­cent Community Board funds $69,000 and the Cen­tral Otago Dis­trict Coun­cil $38,000.

All of this hap­pened dur­ing Mal­colm’s time as mayor. We also have an art strat­egy at $35,000. The orig­i­nal bud­get for the mu­seum for 2004 to 2006 had ratepay­ers’ con­tri­bu­tion at $40,000 and to­tal mu­seum ex­pen­di­ture of $100,000 with the prom­ise that it wouldn’t be a burden on ratepay­ers. Was I wrong to doubt the in­tegrity of the group that drove this huge de­vel­op­ment?

Trust the in­tegrity of this group at your peril. No doubt there will be more cost and car park­ing. Alexan­dra al­ready has a great the­atre cost­ing the ratepay­ers. With a com­mer­cial the­atre at Clyde strug­gling to op­er­ate, clearly the econ­omy is OK. Ac­cord­ing to our cul­ture group we need an­other the­atre, do we?

When the mayor said we had a ‘‘dis­trict dilemma’’ re­gard­ing dis­trict fund­ing in June 2007, Roxburgh’s late Alan Michelle said it was non­sense. He was right when he said we also con­trib­ute funds to the Otago Mu­seum. Where does it stop?

I’m over the criticism of this dis­as­ter and have come up with a log­i­cal scheme to save the ratepay­ers some money. The mu­seum could run the in­for­ma­tion cen­tre. It costs us about $300,000 and the mu­seum $100,000. We could do it for $300,000 and re­fund $100,000 to ratepay­ers or per­haps give some more to our strug­gling vol­un­teer mu­se­ums in the dis­trict. In my view this Alexan­dra in­for­ma­tion cen­tre should not be an i-SITE. It costs too much. It’s time to sort our visi­tor ser­vices ex­penses.

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