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'Ready to flow . . . Work to restore Craig Fountain at the Oamaru Public Gardens is scheduled to be completed by the end of next week. PHOTO: DANIEL BIRCHFIELD

The restoration of Craig Fountain is taking shape, and water is expected to be flowing again by the end of next week.

The 105-year-old Italian marble fountain at the Oamaru Public Gardens, a gift to Oamaru by timber merchant James Craig in 1912, failed in the 1990s and was dismantled in March last year.

A Waitaki District Council vote in September to increase the budget by $90,000 allowed the restoration to go ahead.

That took the expected cost to $165,000.

Waitaki Mayor Gary Kircher said the project had progressed well so far, and he looked forward to seeing the fountain returned to its “former glory”.

Parts of the main structure have been installed into the foundation, as have power cables for the planned path lighting.

A pair of drinking fountains, which also date back to 1912, will also be re-installed.

The fountain itself will be bathed in light as part of a fundraising initiative being spearheaded by the Rotary Club of Oamaru.

Donations are being sought by the club to help pay for the installation of an LED lighting system, expected to cost about $10,000.

Mr Kircher said he was grateful the club had come on board and said once complete, the fountain would look “fantastic” at night.

Some, mostly through social media, had questioned the need for the fountain and path lighting, given the gardens were closed to the public at dusk.

In response, Mr Kircher said a plan was in place to ensure the public could enjoy the light show.

“People have asked why we are doing that when the gardens got closed at dusk. The intention is to have the gardens left open later in the evening so people can appreciate the lights there.”

He said the project was being funded through bequests and “special funding”.