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Trust: No decision yet on library funding

By Emily Norman

[email protected]

It is too early for Masterton Trust Lands Trust to commit funding towards the building of a new library in Masterton, a senior trust official said on Friday.

Councillors were given papers for a decision on establishing a project with Masterton Trust Lands Trust (MTLT) to build a new library at Wednesday’s full council meeting,.

The decision paper said the trust had been approached to form a collaborative library project and contribute 50 per cent of the costs.

However, MTLT manager Andrew Croskery said to date, only “preliminary informal discussions” had been held with the council on the concept of a new library for Masterton.

The original recommendation up for decision was that “council agrees to establish a collaborative project with Lands Trust to build a new Library in Masterton”.

This recommendation was further elaborated on in the decision paper saying that the costs of the build would be shared “equally”.

Mr Croskery said yesterday that at this stage, it was “far too early for the trust to make any commitment to the library project, with no firm proposal or plans in place, and notwithstanding the costs the trust currently faces with structural issues with a number of its buildings”.

In principle, the idea of a MTLT contribution to the Masterton Library was consistent with the trust’s aims, Mr Croskery said.

“The trust looks forward to working with council as the library project develops, and to considering any funding proposal in the future.”

MDC chief executive Pim Borren confirmed council had only had informal discussions with Lands Trust, and that Masterton District Council was looking forward to working with MTLT on a proposal for a new library for Masterton.

A council spokesperson said it was “too early” to indicate to either party what project costs might look like or how these might be shared.

Instead of the original recommendation, the following two were passed at the full council meeting: That council agrees to enter into discussions with Masterton Trust Lands Trust around collaborating on the library building project; and that the library project be considered alongside the CBD and Town Hall redevelopment.

Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland
Emily Ireland is Wairarapa’s Local Democracy Reporter, a Public Interest Journalism role funded through NZ On Air. Emily has worked at the Wairarapa Times-Age for seven years and has a keen interest in council decision-making and transparency.

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