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2 February 2018
Waipa District Council will consider making a $500,000 grant towards a new sport and recreation centre in Ōhaupō - but only if the local community supports it.
The proposal will be included in the Council's draft 10-Year Plan to be released for public comment in mid-March. The Plan, which sets budgets and priorities for the coming decade, will be confirmed in June this year, once the community has had input.
The Ōhaupō sport and recreation centre proposal has been led by a community steering group and if it goes ahead, would replace the existing rugby clubrooms. The new centre would include a community hall, separate clubroom facilities for multiple sports and community groups, kitchen and bar facilities, changing rooms and a community gymnasium.
Already, $200,000 has already been raised towards the $1.5 million project. A potential $500,000 grant from the Council would leave the community with $800,000 to secure from other sources.
The cost of any Council grant would be covered by around 1,000 nearby households most likely to benefit from and use the new facility. If a $500,000 grant was provided, each of those households would be rated $40 per year, for 30 years.
Waipa mayor Jim Mylchreest said if there was strong community support for the project, including support for the targeted rate on nearby ratepayers, the grant could be made in the 2020/2021 year. A separate charitable trust would be formed to manage any new facility; it would not be managed by Council.
He confirmed no funding has been set aside to upgrade the existing Ōhaupō War Memorial Hall after an earthquake assessment last year indicated the hall needs major work. Council wanted to assess support for the proposed new facility first.
"At the end of the day, the community needs to tell us very clearly whether it supports the proposal for the new sport and recreation centre or not. So we're looking forward to hearing from people in Ōhaupō and surrounding areas once the draft 10-Year Plan is released next month."
Media enquiries, contact Jeanette Tyrrell 027 5077 599