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Annual Plan Addition 

Now, where is the $150,000 to be spent?

First the $50,000 proposed by the Chair to fund the Destination Thames project. I make no comment, and instead reprint here the scope of the project as outlined in an email circulated by the Chair to Board Members that somehow became part of the Agenda on the day:

However, should the $50,000 project Thames Destination amount be made a special case of it is essential that the facts presented to the public are a true record of the sub-committees  PURPOSE

They are:

  1. To propose a development strategy to enable Thames to protect its unique historical, geographic and social qualities while accommodating and benefiting form future growth and development.
  2. To consider issues relating to developing Thames as a ‘”destination” rather than a gateway.
  3. To consider ways of encouraging longer stopovers in Thames.
  4. To consider our proud heritage and matters in relation to improving tourism.
  5. To consider ways that will improve the overall prosperity of Thames by becoming the unique environmental, cultural and arts events/centre of the Coromandel Peninsula.
  6. To consider our identity and rebrand accordingly.

It is not just about Tourism initiatives it is about understanding that Thames is a special case and needs some authority to get it going? It is also about understanding what the proposed purpose and functions will be.

So there you are – I trust that is all clear and understood.

The $100,000 was more contentious. It is in the Draft Annual Plan that was approved by Council last week after a five-minute debate as “$100,000 to develop a concept plan for local sports facilities”.

Well maybe – the two-hour debate that ensued yesterday boiled down to whether the money would be spent on one project, or two, or three – the Dry Court (this is new name for Zoom Zone which apparently now has negative connotations in certain sections of the community), the rugby pavilion and the rebuild of the swimming pool.

Round and round it went before finally Board Member French showed his hand and threw in his lot with the Dry Court (Zoom Zone), but wanted the $100,000 spent on the pavilion proposal because it had "already been promised". The swimming pool could wait. BM French argued that the Zoom Zone proposal had already been through all the business case processes, was ready to go, and needed no further planning. He also made an interesting observation that this project was important because “it could be completed within the life of the current council”. No indication as to where the money (several million) would come from, or that the previous Board considered the Zoom Zone Business Case figures shonky, and unrealistic.

Board Member French was supported by BM Hoadley, who offered to second his motion, but it got lost in the hurley-burley, and the Chair pushed for the three way concept plan. I think that is what was finally decided, but then the question of where the money was to come from raised its ugly head. After much beating round the bush, it was resolved that it should not come out of rates, but rather from the TUGPRA account, presumably substituting for the subsidy, so it appears that it will indeed  result in an admittedly small rate increase. 

After all that, the Library Report agenda item got lost, and the meeting dissolved.



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