Time the enemy of pool project

Rising costs and the importance of grant funding in redeveloping the Olympic Pool have been acknowledged by Gisborne district councillors.

Council director of liveable communities Andrew White told councillors sitting as Future Tairawhiti that the $28 million project was still at the concept stage and there were not yet detailed designs.

Costs, including inflationary pressures, were increasing.

“Time is our enemy with this project.

“If we delay for further years, we can probably expect to see some inflationary changes,” he said.

The project envisages a first stage comprising of the indoor complex at a cost of $20m to $21.5m, and a second stage costing $5.5m to$6m

Seed funding of $5.65m is the limit of council funding.

Bill Burdett said the “entire community” had contributed to the wastewater plant with their rates.

“When we came to build the plant, we had $7.5m in the kitty. Would it be possible to give some thought to that?”

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said work would need to be done on how the project could be funded if no significant grant funding was received.

And if such funding was received, what conditions would be stipulated by funders?

Andy Cranston said the project had been going on ‘‘for so long’’. The cost was going up all the time. “It is a huge number.”

He asked if there was opportunity to “reverse engineer the project.”

Mr Cranston said the council could approach funders for a possible funding figure and see what stage they could get to with the pool at that figure.

“Could we have that conversation with funders?”

Mr Cranston said building in logical stages “was another approach.”

Ms Thatcher Swann said such discussions had been held.

Eastland Community Trust had announced its wellbeing budget (where ECT will distribute up to $120 million under its trust deed over the next six years)”.

What, though, did that mean in relation to investment in the Olympic Pool?

Time was of the essence because of inflation, she said.

Shannon Dowsing said councillors had modelled their decision on the basis of two-thirds of funding coming from community funders.

“If we can’t achieve that funding the question comes back to ‘should we fund it?’ That’s the reality.

‘‘The question would need to come back to the table.”

It might change the scope of the project, he said. It would almost be “a project reset”.

Rising costs and the importance of grant funding in redeveloping the Olympic Pool have been acknowledged by Gisborne district councillors.

Council director of liveable communities Andrew White told councillors sitting as Future Tairawhiti that the $28 million project was still at the concept stage and there were not yet detailed designs.

Costs, including inflationary pressures, were increasing.

“Time is our enemy with this project.

“If we delay for further years, we can probably expect to see some inflationary changes,” he said.

The project envisages a first stage comprising of the indoor complex at a cost of $20m to $21.5m, and a second stage costing $5.5m to$6m

Seed funding of $5.65m is the limit of council funding.

Bill Burdett said the “entire community” had contributed to the wastewater plant with their rates.

“When we came to build the plant, we had $7.5m in the kitty. Would it be possible to give some thought to that?”

Council chief executive Nedine Thatcher Swann said work would need to be done on how the project could be funded if no significant grant funding was received.

And if such funding was received, what conditions would be stipulated by funders?

Andy Cranston said the project had been going on ‘‘for so long’’. The cost was going up all the time. “It is a huge number.”

He asked if there was opportunity to “reverse engineer the project.”

Mr Cranston said the council could approach funders for a possible funding figure and see what stage they could get to with the pool at that figure.

“Could we have that conversation with funders?”

Mr Cranston said building in logical stages “was another approach.”

Ms Thatcher Swann said such discussions had been held.

Eastland Community Trust had announced its wellbeing budget (where ECT will distribute up to $120 million under its trust deed over the next six years)”.

What, though, did that mean in relation to investment in the Olympic Pool?

Time was of the essence because of inflation, she said.

Shannon Dowsing said councillors had modelled their decision on the basis of two-thirds of funding coming from community funders.

“If we can’t achieve that funding the question comes back to ‘should we fund it?’ That’s the reality.

‘‘The question would need to come back to the table.”

It might change the scope of the project, he said. It would almost be “a project reset”.

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