Mixed outcomes for community funding bids

Dunedin city councillors gather to discuss the annual plan yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Dunedin city councillors gather to discuss the annual plan yesterday. PHOTO: PETER MCINTOSH
Community groups had limited success at loosening the Dunedin City Council’s purse strings at annual plan deliberations.

In a meeting yesterday the council considered three requests for funding.

A consortium representing the Athenaeum, Mayfair Theatre and Playhouse Theatre had asked for $90,000 to be split evenly between the three venues to deliver a costed concept design for refurbishing the heritage theatres.

The group wanted to take the $17.1million dollars allocated to a mid-sized theatre in the 10-year plan, and add it to their own fundraising efforts to see that all three venues were rejuvenated.

Rather than giving the group the $90,000 requested, councillors voted to ask staff to assist the group to explore other funding pathways such as contestable heritage funding.

The Dunedin Gymnastics Academy had asked for $95,000 in funding, comprising $65,000 in rental support and $30,000 as a one-off grant to investigate and design a new facility for the sport.

Councillors approved the $65,000 of rental relief, the second consecutive year they had granted the request.

However they did not move forward with the second part of the request.

A request from the Dunedin Fringe Arts Trust to increase festivals and events funding by an unspecified amount was not considered by councillors.

Meanwhile a trio of minor motions brought by Cr Carmen Houlahan and seconded by Cr Jules Radich met with mixed results.

A motion asking for a report to be prepared before the next annual plan on the cost of upgrading facilities at Outram Glen including a new toilet and road sealing options passed successfully.

A second proposing to extend the operating hours of the St Clair Salt Water Pool and Port Chalmers Pool from March 31 to May 1 was voted down, with Cr Houlahan’s the only vote in favour.

Cr Radich spoke against the motion and helped vote it down, despite having seconded it.

Finally a third motion asking that staff continue to work with retail-quarter businesses throughout the duration of the George St upgrade never got out of the starting blocks.

The motion lapsed when Cr Houlahan was unable to get colleagues to second the motion after Cr Radich, who had been slated to support it, left the meeting before  the motion could be discussed.

Several councillors noted that this work was already happening anyway.

Cr David Benson-Pope had a win with a motion regarding the presently inoperative physiotherapy pool.

Councillors voted in favour of council staff including discussions with the Therapeutic Pool Trust as part of the ongoing aquatics network review.



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