Bud­get blowout fears aired

Matamata Chronicle - - Front Page - STEVE ED­WARDS

Some dis­trict coun­cil­lors fear the cost of the Mata­mata Civic Cen­tre will blow out by an ex­tra mil­lion dol­lars.

Mata­mata-Pi­ako Dis­trict Coun­cil has bud­geted $6 mil­lion for the cen­tre, which in­cludes work on the town’s me­mo­rial hall, pub­lic li­brary and coun­cil area of­fice.

How­ever, a staff re­port tabled at last Wed­nes­day’s cor­po­rate and oper­a­tions com­mit­tee meet­ing said the ‘‘el­e­men­tal es­ti­mate’’ is cur­rently $6.77 mil­lion.

Cr Neil Goodger said this lat­est fig­ure does not in­clude fur­ni­ture, fit­tings and equip­ment. ‘‘That’s got to be $300,000. It will be $7 mil­lion.’’

No coun­cil projects over the last five years have come in un­der bud­get, he said. ‘‘We are not good at this type of job.’’

Also con­cerned was Cr Ash Tan­ner. ‘‘We all know it’s go­ing to creep up. We are start­ing here at some­thing three quar­ters of a mil­lion above bud­get. I am won­der­ing if it can be built for $6 mil­lion.’’

Con­versely, Cr Garry Stan­ley, who is lead­ing a coun­cil work­ing party on the project, be­lieves the lat­est fig­ures are ‘‘over the top’’. ‘‘I think it will come in un­der that.’’

He said the bud­get in­cludes con­tin­gency fig­ures and pro­fes­sional fees which will not be reached.

Mayor Jan Barnes said the coun­cil will ‘‘fine tune’’ the lat­est op­tion. ‘‘I don’t be­lieve there will be a bud­get blow out.’’

There has been no com­mit­ment yet from out­side fund­ing sources, deputy mayor James Thomas said.

Cr Teena Cornes said the coun­cil ‘‘needs to move on’’ in the project. The ex­ist­ing cen­tre is past its use-by date, she said.

The staff re­port said con­tin­gen­cies and ‘‘un­knowns’’ can be bet­ter re­fined dur­ing the next phases of the project – pre­lim­i­nary and de­vel­oped de­sign.

The coun­cil pre­vi­ously planned to spend $1.5m on fa­cil­i­ties in Mata­mata, but es­tab­lished that the me­mo­rial cen­tre needs se­ri­ous re­pairs, the li­brary does not meet na­tional stan­dards and the area of­fice does not meet coun­cil ser­vice lev­els. With a rates in­jec­tion of $4 mil­lion and $2 mil­lion re­spec­tively, the civic cen­tre will be de­vel­oped over the next two fi­nan­cial years.

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