$4m for library, sports complex

Gore District Council chief executive Steve Parry says Government grants announced yesterday are "beyond our wildest dreams".

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones was in Gore to announce $3 million had been allocated for a new Gore library, and $1 million to enable remedial work at the Gore Multisports Complex.

The funding comes from the $3 billion shovel-ready project initiative set aside in Budget 2020 for infrastructure.

Mr Parry said he and senior council staff worked through Easter to prepare the shovel-ready applications, and the library project was high on the priority list.

"We had to make investment in this area and we didn’t want to be compromised by affordability and so the money [from the Government] ... means we can go for a really good option that will meet today and future needs of the library along with incorporating a much needed facelift to what we know as the James Cumming Wing," Mr Parry said.

The community would be asked for their input as to the layout of the new library.

Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones announces $4million for shovel-ready projects in Gore. PHOTO:...
Infrastructure Minister Shane Jones announces $4million for shovel-ready projects in Gore. PHOTO: SANDY EGGLESTON
Mr Jones said people might think shovel-ready projects were exclusively about physical structures such as roads and bridges.

"In actual fact the shovel-ready kaupapa covers green infrastructure, covers grey infrastructure ... and what we’re calling wellbeing infrastructure, and maintaining a quality sports environment with recreation and a library is most certainly wellbeing," Mr Jones said.

The Gore library was forced to temporarily move to the James Cumming Wing hall in May last year after black mould and asbestos were discovered in the Norfolk St building.

"Up to 60 construction contractors are expected to be employed on this project, which the Gore District Council says can be under way within six months, with numerous other subcontractors and suppliers to benefit as well," he said.

"The Gore Multisports Complex revamp involves two projects - replacing the existing roof and ventilation system at the aquatic centre and replacing the roofing and skylight over the stadium, which has degraded over time.

"This work could be under way within three months and will employ local contractors during the construction period, which has a positive roll-on effect for the wider community."

NZ First list MP Mark Patterson said the funding was great for Gore.

"We’ve got a small ratepayer base," Mr Patterson said.

"This will make a big difference in terms of being able to maintain those facilities and not impoverish particularly our older fixed-income [residents]."

Gore Mayor Tracy Hicks said the library funding was a game-changer.

"This will enable us to deliver a state-of-the-art library ... about 18 months sooner than we were planning and at much less cost to ratepayers," Mr Hicks said.

"We’ve got a few challenges in this community in terms of infrastructure but to have support from Government at a high level is really encouraging and I know long-term this is going to pay off and deliver some real dividends for us as a community."

- By Sandy Eggleston 

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