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Council approves Indoor Sports Centre


Council approves Indoor Sports Centre in 10-year Plan

Wellington City Councillors have given the green light to build an indoor community sports centre in Kilbirnie as part of the Council’s Long Term Plan.

The decision came at a Council meeting last night in which the Long Term Plan was adopted.

The $40 million sports centre is one of nearly 40 new initiatives in the Plan and will see the construction of 12 courts at Cobham Drive Park. It is estimated it will attract 200,000 to 300,000 users annually.

In the next year the Council will begin work on the detailed design and regulatory consent process with the centre expected to open in 2009.

Mayor Kerry Prendergast is delighted by the decision saying it shows the Council’s commitment to providing quality community facilities.

“This is an exciting project that has been more than five years in the making. It will be a fantastic asset that will cater not only to netball, basketball and volleyball but to around 30 different sports.

“The Council did initially consult on an eight court facility but feedback from the public and sports groups convinced us that we need to look to the future and that is why we have decided to support the 12-court option.

“The 12 courts will allow for a greater number of sports to use the facility and encourage greater participation. The expanded centre will also give Wellington an even greater chance of securing regional, national and international sports tournaments.”

The issues of parking and traffic will be addressed during the design and regulatory consent process.

The move from eight courts to 12 will not add to the Council’s projected rates increase for 2006/07, with increased costs only coming in 2007/08.

Strategy and Policy Chairman Councillor Robert Armstrong, who has responsibility for the Long Term Plan, says in establishing the plan Councillors carefully considered the impact and cost of all projects on ratepayers now and in the future.

The projected average real rates increase for 2006/07 is 5 percent, slightly up on the original projection of 4.8 percent.

Projects approved by the Council include:
• Support for a new national portrait and photography gallery
• Extension of the City Gallery
• Support for the Academy of Sports Central in developing school-age and elite athletes
• Extra support for community advice bureaux
• Support for developing the Wellington Regional Strategy

Other decisions made include:

• Not charging for parking at Freyberg Pool car park
• Not reducing the seasons for Thorndon and Khandallah Pools
• Not increasing fixed charges for water and sewerage from $100 each a year to $200
• Closing the Mobile Library
• Supporting a one-year trial allowing 5 percent of Council housing properties to be let at market rentals
• Reducing operating hours of all pools on public holidays

While the average total real rates increase for 2006/07 is 5 percent, individual ratepayers will pay more or less than that, depending on whether they pay commercial or residential rates and on changes in the value of their property.

Ends

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