Recreation Centre to get additional council funding

The group building the $5 million Clutha Recreation Centre will get another $90,000 from the Clutha District Council to develop the car-parking area and realign the access road off Glasgow St.

The $90,000 is to come from the council's reserves contribution fund and is on top of the $2.47 million committed by council to the project, which was the subject of some debate by councillors at yesterday's meeting.

Realigning the access road and developing the car-parking area was a condition of the recreation centre gaining resource consent, and is estimated to cost $140,000, which does not include the cost of drainage, lighting and planting.

Council chief executive Charles Hakkaart told councillors the recreation centre committee would contribute $50,000 and was requesting the remainder from the council.

The additional $90,000 was initially to be added to the $2.47 million loan to be raised by the council, which sparked the debate.

Cr John Cochrane said there was "a lot of public good" in realigning the road, as it would relieve the parking congestion on Glasgow St, and he supported the move.

Cr Jeff McKenzie said he wished the money could be drawn from an existing council fund and not added on to the loan.

Cr Bruce Vollweiler said he was worried by how easily the $90,000 was added, a sentiment shared by Cr Geoff Blackmore.

"We spent a fair bit of time debating this to the level it is now, and to me, the car park was part of the $5 million," Cr Blackmore said.

Council staff looked in to the reserves contribution fund and discovered it had $199,000 available, and the council agreed to add the extra $90,000 so work could continue while the contractors were on site.

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