RSA site offered for council new build
The RSA is offering its prime town centre site for a new Taupo District Council building and it won’t cost ratepayers anything to build.
Local developers pitched the idea to the RSA Trust soon after the Taupo District Council announced it would have to move because of dangers posed by asbestos.
In a confidential session on Wednesday, John Wade and Gary Traveller made the proposal to councillors
‘‘We have an exclusive option to buy the [RSA] property,’’ Wade said.
‘‘We’re proposing a purposebuilt two-storey building with an underground carparking level – similar to the building that Mercury Energy leases on the corner of Titiraupenga St and Heuheu St.’’
Three-quarters of the proposed building on Horomatangi St would be for council use [2500sqm], and one-quarter would be owned by the RSA Trust (800sqm), Wade said.
Garry Clough, RSA Trust treasurer and secretary, said the current RSA building needed earthquake strengthening, but refurbishments were very expensive. ‘‘This is a win-win situation.’’ Clough said he envisioned the RSA running a modern cafe/restaurant downstairs.
‘‘We see this as beneficial because it will essentially become the canteen for the District Council,’’ he said.
The Returned Services Association will also have a lounge-style clubroom upstairs.
‘‘A dumb waiter can move food and drinks up to the club on the top floor,’’ he said.
David Trewavas said councillors will discuss all the submissions this week.
‘‘There are advantages and disadvantages to owning or leasing a building, so we’d have to thoroughly research the options,’’ he said.
‘‘We’ll have to let the experts work out what the best way to go is.’’
Councillor Zane Cozens said 81 per cent of public submissions received by the council indicated the council should move off the Lake Tce site and build elsewhere.
‘‘That’s incredible – that’s a clear direction from the community,’’ he said.
‘‘How council chooses to deal with it will come up in the deliberations.’’
Continued on page 9...
John Wade has an exclusive offer.