Mayor not blamed over museum

Bryan Cadogan
Bryan Cadogan
Clutha Mayor Bryan Cadogan is not to blame for a missed opportunity for a new museum in Milton, Clutha District Council chief executive Steve Hill says.

Mr Hill will take that message to councillors at a council meeting in Balclutha this afternoon.

The Southland Times reported last week the council's inaction caused businessman Roger Mahan to ''ditch plans to gift the authority a $6m state-of-the-art community museum complex''.

Rather than the ''perception in the community'' that the plan for a new museum at Milton failed due to Mr Cadogan's lack of action it was a lack of information that had stalled the proposal, Mr Hill said.

Last year, Mr Hill was authorised to directly deal with Mr Mahan to try to get the information needed to form a proposal to be submitted to this year's long-term plan process.

Mr Hill said this week when he made the approach, the deal was already off the table.

He said the council never received a full business case to address what the council's role in the business would have been.

''We've only ever done grants for museums, so it wasn't going to be a simple process,'' he said.

''We were going to have to ... say [to] what degree are we going to incur ongoing costs and liability associated with the business activity?''

Mr Mahan declined to comment yesterday.

hamish.maclean@odt.co.nz

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