Park work deferral lifts costs

Dunedin city councillors have voted to defer part of a $3.3 million plan to redevelop the Logan Park pavilion.

The decision was taken at yesterday's Dunedin City Council annual plan hearing, when councillors voted to accept a revised plan for the project to defer a planned extension of the building which formed part of a wider refurbishment.

The change meant the existing building would still be refurbished, but plans to build another four changing rooms would be postponed.

A report by council business development team leader Greg Sligo said that meant $900,000 could be carried forward to the council's 2012-13 budget for the wider Logan Park redevelopment, easing immediate rates pressure.

The delay would add "at least" 10% to the cost of the extension, the report said.

"As usual, the longer any project or any part of it is delayed, the greater the increase in costs."

The councillors' vote followed a request for a pavilion project update with savings options.

Council community and recreation services manager Mick Reece said the cost of the wider redevelopment of Logan Park had already been cut from about $12 million to $10 million, but it had been complicated by changes - including confirmation the Forsyth Barr Stadium would proceed - since the original planning.

Planning was already up to five years old and was being revisited, so deferring the pavilion's extension might provide "very useful" flexibility for the wider project, he said.

Council staff had been planning to make improvements to the pavilion for 10 years, and the refurbishment - even without the extension - would provide a "significant improvement" for users of Logan Park, he said.

"It may not be the optimum, but it's a significant improvement," he said.

Staff yesterday stressed the change would not save money, and would in fact add to the cost in future years, but councillors accepted the change would be manageable and voted to accept the recommendation.


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