Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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Thumbs up for arts centre

Performing arts and events centre favoured over strengthening Masterton Town Hall. PHOTO/FILE

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Replacing the earthquake-prone Masterton Town Hall building with a performing arts and events centre has gained nearly 60 per cent support among 241 submissions on Masterton District Council’s Long Term Plan.

The council began three days of hearings on Monday, with 66 of 339 submitters on the LTP requesting to be heard by the council.

Of the submissions on the future of the town hall, 141 [59 per cent] supported the council’s preferred option of replacing the building with the performing arts centre, compared with 66 [27 per cent] who favoured strengthening the town hall that was found to require the work last year.

A further 34 submitters [14 per cent] favoured not replacing the town hall.

The council’s proposed 4.9 per cent rates increase for 2018/19 was at least partly supported by 84 per cent of 257 submitters on the issue.

One hundred submitters [39 per cent] supported the increase, with 117 [45 per cent] partly supporting it.

There were 236 submitters on the subject of including funding in the LTP to enhance the town centre, with 61 per cent supporting the idea, and 27 per cent favouring reducing the scope of the work to the
existing streetscape.

The council also invited submissions on its Shaping Our Town Centre project, with these sent to environmental design and planning consultants, Boffa Miskell, who will report back to the council.

Among submitters at the Masterton Club on Monday, the Pukaha Mt Bruce centre is seeking to increase the council’s funding from $15,000 to $26,250 to reduce the cost of entry to Masterton residents.

“Our goal is for a visit to Pukaha to become a normal and regular family activity for local people regardless of their financial situation,” general manager Emily Court wrote in her submission.

“The cost of entry is currently a barrier for many residents, however we are not in a position to reduce the cost of admission without risk of significant financial loss.”

The annual grant amounts to 60 cents per resident, but the proposal would increase this to $1.05.

“In addition, Pukaha would offer all residents a free host card giving them free entry when they visit with full paying visitors.”

In comparison, Wellington City Council supports Zealandia to the tune of $2.10 for each of its 417,000 residents.

The hearings, at the Masterton Club, continue 1.30-7.15pm today, and briefly from 9am tomorrow.

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