Stadium back on agenda

Four months after plans to build a new sports stadium in Waimate were dumped, all options to provide Waimate with a sports stadium for the 21st century are back on the table.

The Waimate District Council scrapped plans to build a $2.5 million stadium when it adopted a new rating system in July, and although the council had still been investigating the possibility of upgrading the existing Waimate stadium, the proposed sale of the former Debonair building in Sheaman St had presented a new opportunity, council property manager Sue Kelly said.

"This has given council the impetus to consider stadium options with a fresh approach," she said.

"Council commissioned an engineer's report and valuation on the property and then negotiated a conditional agreement for the purchase of the property. The agreement allows for council to purchase the property if the community decides that it is a suitable and viable option for conversion to a stadium facility, but it also gives us the option of not completing the contract if the community decides otherwise.

"While ratepayers will no doubt have many questions about both options, we are still working through the process of assessing the functionality and viability and are not yet in a position to answer those questions."

Mrs Kelly said the council was determined to provide a facility that could meet the "ongoing needs of the community".

A special consultative process, which would allow people to compare "apples with apples", would start early in the new year.

She could not reveal details of how much would be offered to buy the building as the building sale had not been confirmed.

andrew.ashton@odt.co.nz