Tul­loch Park work re­vised

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RACHAEL KELLY Mataura’s swim­ming pool build­ing will re­main empty un­til July 2020, as the Gore District Coun­cil’s plans to re­de­velop Tul­loch Park into a ‘‘unique sport­ing and leisure des­ti­na­tion’’ have stalled due to fund­ing.

The park will now be re­de­vel­oped in three stages, with earth­works sched­uled to be­gin in Septem­ber and the over­all project, in­clud­ing turn­ing the swim­ming pool into an in­door skate fa­cil­ity, to be com­pleted in Novem­ber 2020.

Mataura Com­mu­nity Board mem­ber Al­lan Tay­lor, who is a mem­ber of the Tul­loch Park Re­de­vel­op­ment Project Work­ing Party, said it was hoped to have work on the park un­der­way when the pool closed in April 2017.

‘‘It’s taken a bit longer than that. It’s been quite a long time com­ing.

‘‘It’s quite a big ask to do it all at once. We iden­ti­fied the three things that we were able to be­gin right away on for stage one.’’

The coun­cil bud­geted $500,000 for the re­de­vel­op­ment.

A re­port from parks and recre­ation man­ager Ian Soper, tabled at a coun­cil meet­ing on April 10, said the work­ing party met to dis­cuss plans in Fe­bru­ary and it be­came ev­i­dent that ‘‘the abil­ity to fund was go­ing to be a key con­sid­er­a­tion’’.

‘‘Fol­low­ing the in­de­pen­dently as­sessed ball park fea­si­bil­ity cost es­ti­mate, the costs as­so­ci­ated with build­ing re­pur­pos­ing or re­con­fig­ur­ing are now deemed to be pro­hib­i­tive.

‘‘Re­gard­ing the over­all project, its goals and as­pi­ra­tions, what might be nice to have - has to be mea­sured against and tem­pered with af­ford­abil­ity.’’

The re­port says the work­ing party is ‘‘con­cerned and mind­ful that in the pub­lic’s eyes, it is yet to see any­thing tan­gi­ble - so there­fore it wishes to see progress on the ground’’.

The coun­cil closed the pool in April 2017, af­ter pa­tron­age at the pool had fallen. Ad­mis­sion fees were cov­er­ing only a pro­por­tion of op­er­at­ing costs, with the coun­cil top­ping it up by $135,706 each year.

Dis­play boards show­ing the pro­posed re­de­vel­op­ment are dis­played on the pool build­ing.

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