Events cen­tre cost de­bated

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - By NI­COLA STE­WART

Mata­mata res­i­dents’ rates could go up if Mata­mata- Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil agrees to help fund an events cen­tre in Te Aroha.

Te Aroha Events Cen­tre Char­i­ta­ble Trust is seek­ing $2 mil­lion from the coun­cil and the mat­ter is now up for pub­lic con­sul­ta­tion.

The trust has raised al­most $1 mil­lion, with full costs for the fa­cil­ity es­ti­mated to fall be­tween $4.5 mil­lion and $5 mil­lion.

Mata­mata Fu­tures trustee Frank Healey said they fully sup­ported plans to build a world-class fa­cil­ity in Te Aroha, but would like to see any money con­trib­uted by the coun­cil paid for by Te Aroha ratepay­ers.

‘‘We think that ward fund­ing is the only prac­ti­cal fund­ing for fa­cili- ties such as this,’’ said Mr Healey.

‘‘Al­low­ing wards to un­der­take projects like this would en­able community own­er­ship and en­cour­age other wards to take re­spon­si­bil­ity for their own spend­ing.’’

How­ever, the coun­cil said the events cen­tre would be a dis­trict fa­cil­ity, which meant all ratepay­ers would pay for it.

At the high­est cost es­ti­mate of $5 mil­lion, rates had the po­ten­tial to go up by $15.29 a year for a $ 300,000 ur­ban prop­erty and $141.52 a year for a $4 mil­lion ru­ral prop­erty.

The coun­cil has al­ready com­mit­ted $2 mil­lion to the up­grade of the Mata­mata Sports Cen­tre and a fur­ther $2 mil­lion to the up­grade of Headon Sta­dium in the Our Community Our Fu­ture plan.

In a poll on the Mata­mata Chron­i­cle Face­book page, 94 per cent of peo­ple were against the coun­cil con­tribut­ing $2 mil­lion to the Te Aroha Events Cen­tre, 4 per cent were in sup­port and 2 per cent were un­de­cided.

If plans go ahead, the cen­tre would be lo­cated at Boyd Park and would in­clude two in­door courts, a con­fer­ence room, kitchen fa­cil­i­ties and chang­ing and toi­let fa­cil­i­ties.

Trust mem­ber Paul Wil­liams said the trust had dis­cussed less ex­pen­sive op­tions but agreed that a smaller ver­sion ‘‘will never hap­pen’’.

Coun­cil­lor and trust chair­man Peter Jager said there was no ‘‘plan B’’.

‘‘There is one plan – one idea. We are fully aware of the pos­si­ble costs.’’

Sub­mis­sions close on Novem­ber 21, with a coun­cil hear­ing set down for De­cem­ber 5.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from New Zealand

© PressReader. All rights reserved.