Two groups ap­pointed to co­or­di­nate me­mo­rial hall, Naish Park projects

Otago Daily Times - - Regions - SA­MUEL WHITE sa­

MEM­BERS of newly formed ‘‘co­or­di­nat­ing groups’’ for two of Balclutha’s big­gest com­mu­nity projects have been en­dorsed by the Clutha Dis­trict Coun­cil.

The coun­cil re­cently en­dorsed the mem­ber­ship of the groups for projects to im­prove and re­vamp the Balclutha War Me­mo­rial Hall and Naish Park.

The two projects form a ma­jor part of the ‘‘Our Place Balclutha Com­mu­nity Plans’’, re­cently adopted by the coun­cil.

The groups are to con­sider sug­ges­tions of changes and im­prove­ments and come up with pro­pos­als and re­lated busi­nesses cases that af­fect rates as lit­tle as pos­si­ble.

For­mer Christchurch builder Kevin Bar­ron, who has re­cently re­turned to live in the dis­trict, was en­dorsed as the leader of the Balclutha War Me­mo­rial Hall project, which aims to re­ju­ve­nate the fa­cil­ity and in­ves­ti­gate the cre­ation of a com­mu­nity hub.

Mr Bar­ron’s build­ing com­pany built the first com­mer­cial build­ing in Christchurch’s CBD af­ter the Can­ter­bury earth­quakes.

It was this ex­pe­ri­ence, along with plans to re­turn to live in Balclutha, which led him to vol­un­teer to be part of the project, the coun­cil heard.

Self­em­ployed Balclutha busi­ness­man Jared McPhee was en­dorsed as the leader of the Naish Park project.

Coun­cil chief ex­ec­u­tive Steve Hill said it would be up to the groups to de­cide the next stage of the projects.

There would be ‘‘trig­ger points’’ where the groups would have to come back to the coun­cil for ap­proval; for ex­am­ple, once the groups had com­pleted a busi­ness case, planned to trans­fer as­sets or if they wanted to spend over any ex­ist­ing bud­gets the coun­cil al­ready had in place.

‘‘The two groups will now work to es­tab­lish its struc­ture and start the next steps to get th­ese projects off the ground.’’

The four Balclutha­ward coun­cil­lors will also play a role in th­ese projects.

Mr Hill said nei­ther project was short term.

‘‘Equally, the groups are aware of want­ing to make good progress and the project scopes re­quire any ‘easy wins’ to be con­sid­ered a pri­or­ity.’’

Op­er­at­ing bud­gets were in place for both as­sets but no spe­cific bud­gets ex­isted for co­ or­di­nat­ing groups. Third­party fund­ing will be an im­por­tant source.

The groups were formed af­ter a se­ries of public meet­ings and

Clutha Mayor Bryan Cado­gan said the coun­cil wanted to thank all those who vol­un­teered to be part of this ‘‘ex­cit­ing chap­ter’’.

Peo­ple could still be­come in­volved in the projects by con­tact­ing Alana King at the coun­cil.

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