Lease op­tion

Taupo & Turangi Weekender - - News -

I W WALKER The head­line story on the front page of the Taupo & Tu­rangi Week­ender of De­cem­ber 13 makes a lot of sense and the Taupo¯ Dis­trict Coun­cil should now add the op­tion to lease a coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing to its op­tions. The coun­cil cur­rently has one of the high­est debt lev­els per capita for any New Zealand lo­cal body of around $150 mil­lion and with the fur­ther pro­posed ex­pen­di­ture of $50 mil­lion for the coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing, this will grow to $200 mil­lion. The ben­e­fits of leas­ing a suit­able ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing as op­posed to build­ing should now be se­ri­ously on the list of op­tions for the fol­low­ing rea­sons:

■ There is no cap­i­tal in­vest­ment re­quired by the coun­cil so debt lev­els re­main where they cur­rently are.

■ The costs of leas­ing are met by ratepay­ers rev­enue.

■ There is cur­rently wide­spread con­cern by many ratepay­ers and res­i­dents at the use of the Ton­gariro Do­main for the coun­cil ad­min­is­tra­tion build­ing and leas­ing else­where would over­come this.

■ The or­gan­i­sa­tions such as Ro­tary, the bowl­ing club and other ser­vice clubs can con­tinue to use their ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties.

■ In time as the coun­cil’s re­quire­ments change the ratepay­ers are not faced with per­haps try­ing to sell or lease a pur­pose-built build­ing on prime land in Taupo¯.

■ The Ton­gariro Do­main is cur­rently des­ig­nated ‘Crown Re­serve’ and at present can­not be built on so this re­moves the need to change its sta­tus.

■ If the new build­ing pro­posed for the RSA site was used, this en­sures the coun­cil re­mains within the CBD and ac­ces­si­ble by all ratepay­ers.

■ There is gen­er­ally good park­ing avail­able in the Horo­matangi St area.

The leas­ing op­tion pro­vides the coun­cil with more flex­i­bil­ity, bet­ter use of re­sources and keeps the debt lower. It also leaves the Ton­gariro Do­main as it was al­ways in­tended. NEIL CHAVE Ed­i­tor’s note: Taupo¯ Dis­trict Coun­cil ad­vises that as of the end of Oc­to­ber its gross debt was $144 mil­lion and net debt $24 mil­lion.

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