Meeting in support of store

John Crawford.
John Crawford.
The chairman of Naseby Vision gives the idea of the community owing the town's general store a ''65%-plus'' chance of going ahead.

After a ''positive'' meeting attended by about 80 people in the town on Thursday night to discuss the future of the general store, the estimated chance was conservative, John Crawford said.

''Of those at the meeting, probably about 80% were in favour of retaining the shop.''

And about 40% of those in favour were prepared to contribute to community ownership of the store by investment or financial contribution.

At the meeting, one person had immediately offered $1000 towards the store, and others were willing to put in between $100 and $1000, as well, he said.

The owners of the store for the past six years, Alistair and Kay Watt plan to close it at the end of the month, due to too many quiet times at Naseby.

Following the ''Save Our Store'' meeting on Thursday, a subcommittee had been set up, to come up with a budget for a community-owned store, he said.

The final amount required to purchase the chattels of the store was not known, Mr Crawford said.

''It will be reasonably modest though, [we are] just buying the assets. People [offering financial support] will be able to buy a debenture as well as buying shares.''

The Central Otago District Council owned the store building, he said.

Other options to supplement the income of the store were also discussed, including activities such as expanding bicycle rentals and offering takeaways.

Supporting the idea of a community-owned store were the council and the Maniototo Community Board, Mr Crawford said.

Another public meeting regarding the store would be planned for the end of next week.

leith.huffadine@odt.co.nz

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