Gallery project loses one of its fun­ders

Otago Daily Times - - REGIONS - HAMISH MACLEAN

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.

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