Freezer Building roof plan on hold

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A proposal to spend $80,000 to develop the old Freezer Building in Oamaru’s Victorian Precinct had a mixed response at yesterday’s meeting of the Waitaki District Council.

The council considered a raft of proposals for inclusion in the 2013/2014 annual plan. One of them, which was recommended by staff, involved spending $80,000 on the Freezing Building, mainly to replace the roof.

After some discussion, council decided to cut the amount from $80,000 to $20,000 which would be spent on demolishing a tin shed located next to the Freezer Building. Staff would also be asked to prepare detailed costings to weatherproof the Freezing Building and make it secure.

Replacing the Craig Fountain in the Botanical Gardens was included among the proposals in the omnibus report.

However, the public will be consulted first on whether it should be restored or replaced and this will be done through the Reserve Management Plan process and not the annual plan.

A draft for discussion on additional funding for roading was presented by Neil Jorgensen, the council’s group assets manager.

He said $3.2m would be needed, most of it in drainage work. The council will consider a further report on February 14.

A rates rise of 5.3 per cent had been originally projected for 2014/15, but as the council set about considering the various annual plan proposals yesterday, this was reassessed as being more likely to be 3.2 per cent, due to a number of efficiencies and cost savings.

By CHRIS TOBIN