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Most successful survey to date

Masterton Town Hall’s future is still undecided. PHOTO/JAMES CRAWLEY

The survey on options for the town hall closes on February 7, followed by formal public consultation in March. KAREN COLTMAN reports

About 500 people have completed the Masterton District Council summer survey about what they would like done to and with the Masterton Town Hall.

Demolishing it will cost about $2 million, building a new centre or keeping the façade and building a centre connected to it will cost from $15m to $16m.

Council communications and marketing manager Shanna Crispin said most people did the survey online.

“We’re not releasing any of the results while the survey is running so the result is not skewed, but there appears to be a good range of views represented,” Crispin said.

During the holiday period the council’s, ‘Have a Say Hub’ was quiet but the council had some ‘useful conversations’ with people who dropped in.

“It’s fair to say some people coming into the hub have simply been eager for action on the town hall,” Crispin said.

Masterton mayor Lyn Patterson said she understands people’s frustrations when it comes to the town hall but said because the decision affects several generations of ratepayers and residents, “we need to get it right”.

“In considering options for the town hall site, we need to know what sort of things people would want in a new shared space, and what they would be prepared to pay, and we’ve already had a great response to our survey,” she said.

The 2017 council long-term plan engagement asked whether strengthening the building or building a new events centre was the favoured option – 220 people responded and 143 people [65 per cent] indicated they preferred the council to build a new centre.

The 2018 LTP engagement had 241 responses. Over half said build new, 27 per cent strengthen and 14 per cent preferred it not be replaced.

After the survey closes on February 7 the results will be presented to the council with a proposal of options, including costs. These will be included in the draft Annual Plan and go out for formal public consultation
in March.

There is a factsheet about the issues and survey on www.mastertontown.nz

The survey is online at: [www.surveymonkey.com/r/93WQW3Y]

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