$5000 grant for SOAP’s show
The South Otago A&P Society has been granted $5000 from the Clutha District Council’s opportunities fund to pay for an entertainer, but not without a fight.
The show committee is facing a much larger than usual bill for entertainment this year, and asked the council to fund special guest Howie Morrison, son of the late Sir Howard Morrison, who is performing at the 151st show at Balclutha on November 25.
Committee members Shirley Johnston and Katy Button made the request in person at a council meeting at Balclutha last Thursday.
They asked for between $4000 and $4500, to help cover Morrison’s fee and flights. Extra funds were needed to cover GST.
They said the Clutha Licensing Trust was sponsoring his accommodation, and he would also be performing at Rosebank Lodge on the Friday night before the show, where he would be taking a portion of the $30 ticket price. While the 150th jubilee show and membership last year had earned the society an income of $53,000, expenses were $52,000, and that was without budgeting for Morrison’s expenses to perform this year, Button said.
The committee wanted to increase the show’s entertain- ment value, but it was difficult to find appropriate funding sources in the time frame, Johnson said. Initially, it had asked for the funding out of the council’s grandstand maintenance fund, which was originally intended to be capped at $100,000. With interest and additional contributions by the council, this was now sitting at $141,473, with interest in the last financial year of $6877.
This money had been designated for projects such as changing facilities beneath the stand. Some councillors thought tapping into this fund was inappropriate. The council also has an opportunities fund for special projects that fall outside those earmarked in the annual plan. Some councillors thought this was a more appropriate fund.
When it came to the vote, two councillors - Geoff Blackmore and Alison Ludemann - dissented, because they did not believe that the opportunities fund was set up for requests of this nature.
Some councillors were concerned that granting the request would set a precedent.
However, after further debate, it was decided that future requests would be treated on a case-by-case basis.
Howie Morrison Junior is performing at the 151st show at Balclutha on November 25.