War for Waharoa Hall rages on
The battle to save Waharoa Hall is continuing.
The Friends of Waharoa Memorial Hall still think they can save it, and they are also concerned about having the war memorial plaques that were housed there returned.
The group’s spokesperson Caroline Dibert said the four members, including of herself, Lai Toy, Tracey Fawcett and Warren Harvey as a committee could run it.
The Matamata-Piako District Council’s communications manager Jenni Cochrane said council consulted with ratepayers over funding repairs to the hall, 75 per cent did not agree to pay the increase for repairs.
‘‘This was one of the contributing factors in council’s decision to close the hall, together with a steady decline in its use,’’ she said.
‘‘We are currently working through the legal disposal process, which requires council to offer the hall back to its original owners. If they do not want the hall, it will be put up for sale, at which point any groups or committees with an interest in the hall could purchase it.’’
The Friends of Waharoa Memorial Hall think they could viably have the hall repaired.
The council said it would cost $32,000.
‘‘I don’t know where they got that from; we have had two quotes for repairs for $5000.’’
Harvey wanted to see proof in the form of an engineer’s report.
‘‘If someone came to your house and said it needed repairs you would ask for more proof.’’
Cochrane said no engineer’s report had been undertaken, however, this would be very unusual for a roof.
‘‘The roof has been inspected by a building control officer, council’s property maintenance officer and a quote for repairs was sought from a local company.’’
The group questioned why the plaques, commemorating the four local men who died in World War I and the other listing the 74 district men who served in World War II, had to be taken out of the hall.
Cochrane said the plaques were being stored at Firth Tower for safe keeping.
‘‘We will work with the RSA to determine where the plaques should be displayed to best honour these fallen soldiers.’’ There has been six burglaries in the last week. A chainsaw and two mountain bikes were taken from a Sheffield St property. A commercial premise on Arawa St has had three smash and grab style burglaries. Fishing gear and cray pots were taken from an Elizabeth St property.
Friends of the Waharoa Hall, including Warren Harvey and Caroline Dibert, pictured, want to save the hall.