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.

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