The Tamahere Recreation Reserve and Piazza project is under control and there have been no cost blow-outs.
That’s the message of reassurance from Waikato District Council to the Tamahere Community Committee and the wider Tamahere Community as it seeks to clarify points raised in a recent media article on the project.
Last year Council asked what facilities the community wanted in the reserve and they indicated that they were willing to pay an additional targeted rate of $38 per year over 15 years for the following:
- More items of, and better specification, play equipment for the playground
- A fitness trail looping the reserve, this includes more extensive and better specification walkways
- A destination skatepark with more obstacles, typically including a bowl as well as half pipe and rail
- A basketball half court
- Staging and lighting in the Piazza area
This meant that $500,000 was added to the budget to bring it to approximately $3.9 million.
That budget is in the Long Term Plan and because of the size of the project, is spread over a number of years.
At this stage of the project, the figures that have been reported on in the media regarding the playground and skate park are supplier quotes and cost estimates, not actual costs.
What Council staff are doing now is looking at ways that those supplier quotes and estimates can be brought down to meet the budget.
But Council has made a commitment to the community that it will be a High Spec playground and skate park, so as an additional measure it was decided that $250,000 of money budgeted in the 2019/20 year of the LTP be brought forward to this year to help Council staff address the high supplier quotes.
In a nutshell this means that Council will deliver on the promise that the playground and skate park will have higher spec and more equipment than Council’s typical neighbourhood playgrounds and skate parks, which were initially planned for the reserve.
“The Tamahere Community Committee has done a great job in leading the engagement process with the community for this project.,” says Deputy General Manager Service Delivery Roger MacCulloch.
“Through them, the community has told us what they want and we fully intend to deliver that. There’s no doubt that some supplier quotes have come in high compared to original cost estimates we received.
“We are working with our suppliers to deliver results within budget while being fully committed to providing the level of service that the Tamahere community has asked for.
“There are no cost blow outs and we are on track.”
Waikato District Council will be meeting with the Tamahere Community Committee in the coming weeks to update them on progress with the project.