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Civic centre: Potential site named for new facility

The potential site of Masterton’s civic facility. PHOTOS/JADE CVETKOV

The site of Bridgestone Tyres, Kiwi Magic and Cross Country Rentals is being scoped out as a location for Masterton’s civic facility.

The lot – 1 Queen St –is at the northern end of Masterton, has a capital value of $2.3 million, and measures 6100m2.

It is owned by Masterton Trust Lands Trust and borders Robinson Park, which is owned by the council.

Masterton District Council had previously not disclosed the details of sites considered for the civic centre due to commercial sensitivity.

But on Thursday, a council spokesperson said: “We want to be as transparent as possible about the process”.

The council said testing was under way at the site, which would confirm soil properties, liquefaction potential, foundation recommendations, site stability, and earthwork

The geotechnical testing is being done by Hastings-based Resource Developments Consultants Ltd.

Wellington-based Griffiths Drilling would undertake the drilling on-site.

The Queen St site is one of several that the council is considering at the northern end of town as a location for the $31 million civic facility.

Other known locations the council has considered in the past included the War Memorial Stadium and New World Masterton.

No decisions have been made on what will happen at the site of the existing town hall and municipal buildings which are earthquake prone.

Civic Facility Project Committee chairwoman Councillor Tina Nixon said the geotechnical testing was the last of the testing the council needed to undertake on the sites it was considering for the civic facility.

“This is the only site we are looking at that requires this type of testing, and we are grateful to the businesses currently on the site for their patience while this testing gets under way.”

Testing should be completed by the end of the week, with results due back before Christmas, enabling the council to progress decision-making on its preferred site.

Trust general manager Andrew Croskery said there was not an offer from the council to acquire the property at 1 Queen St.

“MTLT has, however, provided the opportunity for MDC to undertake geotechnical testing at the property,” he said.

“If an offer is ultimately presented, MTLT will consider this in relation to its act.

“This process requires the trust to publicly notify any resolution to sell property, and call for any objectors to state their objection in writing.

“Any objection would be considered prior to a decision being concluded.”

Masterton Ratepayers and Residents Association secretary Lyn Riley said the council seemed determined to forge ahead with the civic facility project “regardless of the strong opposition from within its own ranks and the Masterton community”.

“Yet again information is being drip fed to ratepayers and residents, as although one site is named, it is only one of several being considered which suggests the plans – and costs – are nowhere near as finalised as the council would have us believe.

“It appears from the council’s statement that some, undefined, testing has already taken place on other sites – although this is the first testing they’ve notified the public about – demonstrating further waste of ratepayers’ money.”— NZLDR

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