Council to invest big in community facilities

The Bay Oval hosted the ICC Women’s Cricket World Cup 2022 match back in March.

A range of community facilities and projects will receive funding from Tauranga City Council to build capacity and capability after the Commissioners decided to direct funds in the 2022/2023 Annual Plan deliberations meeting on Tuesday.

Some of the top projects to receive funding include the Bay Oval, Citywide Active reserves, Merivale Community Centre, plus a feasibility study in ‘Lighting the City’, a sculpture trust, and Mount Manganui toilet facilities.

The Commissioners agreed to fully fund the shortfall for the Stage 2 Pavilion – an additional $1,934,240 grant in 2022/2023 – and signal support towards one-third funding ($2m) of the proposed indoor training centre.

A total of $7.9m will go towards active reserve improvement projects, including investment into football facilities in the city; improvements to the turf, floodlights and drainage across a number of reserves; and more mowing and landscaping at Blake Park and helping to fund a temporary cricket pavilion for community cricket.

The Merivale Community Centre gets an additional $3.9m – including $2m external funding –approved to enable its completion, and $100,000 annually to a community centre operational budget.

The commissioners also committed funding to a feasibility study to explore options for LED installations that would light up the city on a permanent basis. The total cost for permanent lighting is estimated at $750,000.

Moreover, $136,000 has been set aside for public art, and the establishment of a sculpture trust. A decision as to how this funding will be allocated will be made following confirmation of the new public art framework. Council is working with the Park to Park Trust, an independent trust seeking to establish a public sculpture trail connecting Kulim and Fergusson Parks.

Lastly, $500,000 is included to look across Mount North at public toilets provision, after toilets were burnt down at Coronation Park earlier this year.

Commission Chair Anne Tolley says residents deserve a city with quality recreational and community facilities.

“We want to create places where people can come together and do the things they enjoy. In many instances, these developments have been delayed for some years due to a governance reluctance to invest in new and upgraded community facilities and it’s heartening to be able to address that historic under-investment now.”

TCC’s general manager community services, Barbara Dempsey is encouraged by the level of investment that’s been signalled. “This is a hugely exciting opportunity, we have listened to the community and put a focus on making long overdue improvements to maximise our current facilities.

“We believe this will help ensure we can develop and maintain quality facilities for our residents and visitors, to enjoy.”

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