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The Port Chalmers Foundry Trust also drew attention to the city council leaving the old Sims Engineering building exposed to the elements for the past four years, after removing its roof.
The trust was formed to save the building at the corner of Beach St and Macandrew Rd.
Trust secretary Kris Smith told city councillors at a 10-year plan hearing yesterday the building could be the only original maritime foundry remaining in New Zealand.
She urged the council to undertake a revised asbestos assessment and she noted contamination had likely dispersed.
"Our offer, once the site is cleaned up, is to take responsibility for fundraising, developing and running the building."
Stabilising the bank could be carried out relatively easily, the trust argued.
It sought reassurance that the council was committed to the project.
The trust could raise money to replace the roof and strengthen the building once the council had completed asbestos removal, the trust said in its submission.