‘We need this now’ – Dow
Mr Wood told councillors he was confident Wests would supply funds towards the project, but in any case the council had never required the clubs’ combined $100,000 to be available now. It was not required until the project began in a year’s time, he said.
By charging by the hour for clubs to use the turf, the project would turn over $ 100,000 a year, which would be spent maintaining the field, Mr Wood said.
Councillors Sue Dow, Denys Latham, Robert Rangi, Tim Sheppard, Wayne Poutoa, Liz Kelly and Bronwyn Kropp voted to secure council funding for the field, a vote count of seven to six.
‘‘We need this now. We have no other proposals for all-weather surfaces before us at the moment, so we must judge this on its own merit,’’ Ms Dow said. ‘‘They’re bringing dollars into the city that aren’t ratepayers’ dollars. I think sharing responsibility is a win-win. If all else fails and the project goes belly up, the city inherits the assets.’’
Ms Kelly agreed the project was nothing but positive for the council.
‘‘We’ve got a champion who is doing work for us for no cost. If they don’t get the money they need, it won’t happen, at no risk for us.’’
Mr Latham reminded councillors the majority of the $600,000 was a loan to PSSFT, only $197,000 being a grant.
‘‘If I could make a $197,000 investment and get a $1.8 million asset, I’d be over the moon,’’ he said.
A ‘‘sunset clause’’ was added so that if PSSFT hasn’t started construction in a year’s time, council’s funding will be made available to other community groups.