Costs jump as decision delayed
The cost of maintaining the deteriorating and inoperative Huntly War Memorial Hall could continue to rise as a decision on its future is delayed for at least another year.
The Waikato District Council Infrastructure Committee voted last week to establish a community working group which would also focus on the town’s other facilities.
The decision will be officially signed off at the next council meeting where changes could be made.
Initially the council voted to demolish the hall last year but locals rallied against it.
The plan is to feed the group’s reports into the 2018-2028 LTP process.
A delay would mean there’s likely to be more water damage and deterioration which would result in further costs towards repair and refurbishment, general manager of service delivery Tim Harty reported.
An external project manager will work with the community groups to gauge interest in being involved which is expected to be set up by September or October.
Local businessman Frank McInally said a year was too long of a wait for a decision.
‘‘You can’t wait that long, Huntly doesn’t have any other facilities...[and] it will deteriorate and things are going to get dearer.’’
The man who lead the charge to save the hall was hoping to be part of the group and said it should be made up of local tradespeople and representatives from groups such as the Lions.
‘‘The local people built the damn thing, they can fix it...Huntly has well qualified people.’’
Council staff investigated options for interim maintenance which may be able to be undertaken to reduce rates of deterioration.
One option was to construct another roof above the existing external flat roof, complete with new waterproof materials, and upgrade materials at other prob- lem areas which was estimated to cost $23,000.
The work could be funded from the Huntly Hall Targeted Rates Reserve.
The council reported it cost $52,000 a year to maintain a hall in the Waikato District.
If the hall were to be repaired, Huntly ratepayers would be paying an extra $45 annually over the next 25 years. Bridge members initiated A 12-week course on the ins and outs of the card game Bridge has resulted in 16 new members for the Huntly Bridge Club. The club held a celebration night to mark their achievement and presented members with a certificate confirming their qualified bridge player status. Tutor Jane Stearns said people were often surprised at how long it took to learn the game. ’’It is the most fascinating and at times frustrating card game on the planet,’’ she said. The students are now paired up with ‘‘buddies’’ who look after them as they take their first tentative steps at club play. Five of them have entered the Mini Moos Waikato wide bridge series with their first heat at the Morrinsville Bridge Club. Three of those players achieved a top 10 result with Lynne Boyack managing a podium finish in 3rd place.
Sewer main work underway
Smythe Contracting has been awarded the contract to construct a new gravity sewer main along George Drive in Huntly.The system is used to collect wastewater from multiple sources and covey by gravity the wastewater to a treatment plant. This includes connections from existing commercial properties. The contract is expected to be completed by the middle of September.
The Huntly War Memorial Hall is currently unable to be used due to its condition.