Waimate businessman to support town’s stadium

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An agreement has been reached between Waimate businessman Gary Rooney and the Waimate District Council to ensure the town’s stadium is a two-court facility.

Waimate mayor Craig Rowley said the final design was to be jointly approved by Mr Rooney and the council, and that known users would be consulted also.

“Gary has agreed to provide sponsorship of a level which ensures that there will be no additional call on ratepayer funding to provide a two court facility,” Mr Rowley said.

“Just as importantly, he has also agreed to take full responsibility for the project build and this will ensure that council will not have any risk of budget over-runs.”

A single court facility was originally presented in the concept design, even though throughout the public consultation phase, there were many submitters stating the need for a two-court facility.

Mr Rowley said one of the submissions was from Mr Rooney, who supported the council’s concept of establishing a modern multi-purpose facility on the existing site, but was adamant that it should be a two-court facility to accommodate a broader range of sporting codes and other uses.

“Gary submitted that he was willing to provide sponsorship for an improved project.”

Chairman of the Waimate Stadium fundraising committee, Barry O’Neill, said that at the end of June the council had estimated the cost of the project to be $3.8 million.

By LINDA MCCARTHY