Gallery project loses one of its funders
THE Waitaki District Council has lost a significant source of external funding for its now scrapped $6 million redevelopment of the Forrester Gallery, council documents say.
Council finance and corporate development group manager Paul Hope’s report to the council’s finance, audit and risk committee to be tabled tomorrow states the ‘‘cultural facilities redevelopment project’’ remained on the council’s list of projects for this financial year ‘‘based on the understanding that the original project is being refined’’.
‘‘And although one potential funder has withdrawn its funding offer, other funders are still keen to be involved, depending on what project or projects eventuate.’’
Before a March 12 workshop, when councillors decided to reset the project, the redevelopment had already secured about $1.6 million in external funding.
Mr Hope’s report to the committee shows $1,133,188 of external funding remains for the scrapped plan to amalga mate the gallery with the North Otago Museum and the Waitaki District Archive.
Last week, Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said he, council chief executive Fergus Power and people culture group manager Lisa Baillie had ‘‘outlined the expected delay to the project brought about by the reexamination of the project’’ in an earlier meeting with Otago Community Trust chief executive Barbara Bridger.
It was agreed the trust would withdraw its funding offer and the council would apply in the future, he said.
‘‘It was acknowledged that such an application could be for a larger amount than what had been offered originally.’’
Earlier this month, the council instructed staff to provide costings for options for standalone upgrades for the gallery, museum and archive.
Tomorrow, the finance, audit and risk committee is scheduled to decide whether to ‘‘approve, reject, or modify’’ uncompleted projects originally scheduled for last year on a casebycase basis.
Its carryforward schedule lists nearly 90 projects, with $12,559,741 unspent from an original budget of $23,848,170.
Among the projects with unspent budgets are $200,000 for the Severn St wall rehabilitation; $543,853 for LED street lighting renewals; $767,156 for Holmes Wharf deck replacement; $100,000 for legal issues, maintenance and planning for the future development of the former North Otago Returned and Services Association (RSA) building in Itchen St; $200,000 for a proposed urban park development at Oamaru Harbour; and $2,250,000 for the cultural facilities redevelopment project.
The report to the committee notes the RSA remained in the list ‘‘but at a greatly reduced level’’.
The carryforward report shows six drinking water supply projects representing $1,650,000 in unspent budgeted funds were already scheduled for later than the 201819 budget year.
All of the projects that were eventually approved by the council would be included in what the council called a ‘‘living budget’’ for 201819.