Costs jump as de­ci­sion de­layed

North Waikato News - - YOUR PAPER, YOUR PLACE - CAITLIN WAL­LACE

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.

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