Wednesday, June 19, 2024

Masterton to progress infrastructure upgrades

Masterton District Council has voted to invest in a new $25 million Town Hall and $10 million library upgrade as part of deliberations on the district’s 2024-34 Long Term Plan.

Mayor, Gary Caffell said staff spent six hours deliberating the plan at the Council’s June meeting, which “reflected the commitment of elected members to balance careful spending with a desire to move Masterton forward”.

The Council will approve the final LTP on 26 June. The final impact on rates is being calculated, following the deliberations, but will be known ahead of the 26 June meeting, said the Mayor.

“We had an excellent response to our consultation with 836 submissions, and there was similarly excellent robust debate during our deliberations meeting.”

“Councillors quite rightly had a keen eye for the financial impact of decisions on ratepayers but the majority of councillors wanted to make progress on some key projects. That means making progress on the Town Hall and the library, while also continuing to invest in roads and water infrastructure.”

Councillors voted to demolish the Town Hall and Municipal Buildings, including the façade, and build a new Town Hall on the current site, with a total budget of no more than $25 million.

The Council’s Waiata House office will also be expanded, at a cost of $8.7 million, to accommodate Civil Defence, customer services, a Council Chamber, public meeting rooms and a lab for use by environmental services staff.

An expansion of Masterton’s library has been estimated at $10.75 million.

Deputy Mayor, Bex Johnson, who chaired the Town Hall Project Advisory Group, moved the motion on the Town Hall.

“It is a difficult decision to demolish the façade but the cost of $2 million to retain it does not make financial sense. Even though the majority of submissions were against retaining the facade we are well aware of the community’s sentiment surrounding the façade and will work with the architects to ensure we incorporate elements of the old Town Hall in the new multi-use facility, including salvaging materials during the demolition phase that can be re-used in the new build.”

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