Locals keen for “awesome” park


Tamahere people have strongly indicated they are keen for “awesomeness” in their long awaited sports and recreation grounds.

A concept plan of the Tamahere sports and recreation grounds (click to enlarge).

A significant majority of locals who responded to a survey on whether they wanted a basic or enhanced level of facilities, including a bigger playground and high-spec walkway, have opted for the top line option.

The enhanced grounds come at a cost of an estimated additional $38 on annual rates.

Tamahere Councillor Aksel Bech, who urged locals to have their say in the survey as a once in decades opportunity, was openly for the better facilities.

“As a ratepayer and long time resident, personally, given the choice between “neighbourhood level” and “destination level”, I would go for awesomeness every time – and at $38 per year that makes it an easy decision for me,” Bech said in August.

The Waikato District Council, which surveyed locals, sent out 1713 feedback forms to ratepayers within the Tamahere Ward. The forms were also made available through the council website and through the Tamahere Community Committee (TCC).

Six hundred and ninety responses were returned with most respondents supporting the higher standard of facilities at the sport and recreation reserve bounded by the Tamahere School and community centre grounds, Wiremu Tamihana Drive and Airport Rd.

The majority, 443 supported the higher standard of facilities and new targeted rate, 244 supported the basic facilities with no further funding required, and three did not indicate either option.

The results were tabled at the September meeting of the council’s strategy and finance committee, which passed a resolution to support the majority outcome and include the new targeted rate in the 2018-2028 Long Term Plan.

The targeted rate will apply from July 1, 2018.

A community loan will be used to fund the additional budget for the facilities, which will be repaid over 15 years. The targeted rate will be used to repay the loan, and also applied to any additional operational costs that arise from the increased spending.

Once the loan is repaid the need to continue charging the targeted rate for the ongoing operational costs portion will be revisited.

The grounds’ features will include a playground, skatepark, a fitness trail looping the reserve, a basketball half-court, staging and lighting in the piazza area and higher specification walkways and park furniture.

The Tamahere Community Committee has been involved in drafting a concept plan and suggestions, requests and comments can be made to the committee or Councillor Bech.

More on this topic: Deadline looms on sport ground

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