Tulloch Park work revised
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.