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'Destination playground' planned for Decks Reserve

June 12th, 2013
[by David Armstrong]

Plans are being made for playground upgrades for Decks Reserve and Memorial Park this year, with some exciting new equipment included that will make Decks Reserve a "destination playground" for the town.

Council's reserves officer Glenn Thorn outlined options for both upgrades, and said he was happy to include a 7.4-metre high pyramid-shaped rope climbing frame in Decks Reserve that will accommodate large numbers of children.

Such climbing frames are becoming popular and attractive features in other centres, including the one at the ASB Aquatic Centre in Stoke and another in Victory Square, Nelson.

Glenn told the Community Board at its June meeting last night that the Reserves Fund Contribution budget for this year includes $51,900 for a playground upgrade in Decks Reserve and $54,854 for one in Memorial Park.

The Memorial Park work will include repainting the swings and slides and the addition of a new climbing apparatus. Soon after that is done, work can proceed on remodelling the playground at the north end of Decks Reserve, shifting some of the existing apparatus and adding the rope climbing frame.

He hoped both jobs would be complete by the end of 2013. Community Board members considered a few proposals provided by equipment makers, then agreed that it would be best to consolidate the majority of future expense on one exceptional playground (a "destination playground") at Decks Reserve and maintain other minor playgrounds as satellite facilities.

Discretionary fund approvals
Five community group projects were approved for grants from the board's discretionary fund. Motueka Athletics Club received $448.50 to alter the existing toilet block in Memorial Park into a storage shed for athletics equipment. Special Olympics Motueka was granted $500 to help with rental of Huia Club rooms for indoor bowls and admission to the ASB Aquatic Centre.

Motueka Floral Art Circle got the tick for $500 to help with the costs of holding a floral art demonstration in Memorial Hall to raise funds for the Motueka Cancer Society. And Vision Motueka were approved funds for two projects: $490 to help with funding for the (to be) annual Volunteer Awards Event in October, and $480 toward the cost of holding the first annual Motueka Community Christmas Dinner.

Cemetery development concepts
TDC reserves officer Steve Richards presented details of his concept for improving the Motueka Cemetery grounds. This follows a couple of rounds of consultation with Keep Motueka Beautiful and the RSA.

Board members were pleased with the results, but discussed the pros and cons of transplanting long-established rhododendron bushes and starting from new plants. They asked that Steve come up with a project plan with timings for each stage of the development.

Parking at Goodman Reserve
Glenn Thorn also presented an idea on how to spend money allocated for increasing parking at the Goodman Reserve sports grounds beside the Recreation Centre.

Board members were divided on the need for more parking on the playing ground area (east of Woodlands Canal). Some believed there was no desperate need for more parking there, and if more were to be constructed it may be better to better mark or expand the existing parking area beside State Cinema.

Farmers Market
The proposal carried over from the May meeting to allow a farmers' market to run in the Museum forecourt during the summer months was left on hold for the time being. (See our earlier story here).

Our Town Motueka, which had proposed the initiative, is working on its own reorganisation following the resignation of its paid administrator, Lori Keller, and wants to wait until that is sorted out.

Public forum topics
Several controversial topics were raised during the public forum, which preceded the board meeting. The main one was a reiteration by a handful of speakers of arguments put at the public meeting on Motueka West and Central rezoning plans (see our story here).

One speaker, Anna Louise, suggested that the public forum should be a separate meeting where residents could not only present their views on topics dear to their hearts but also have conversations with board members about them. (Council's meeting rules state that the public forums as constituted do not require board members to answer or make comment on issues raised.)

As it was, the public forum at yesterday's meeting, which began at 4pm, ran quite late, making the whole meeting run well past 7pm. It may have run even later if more board members and councillors had been present - three of the seven submitted apologies.

Chris Salt spoke about ways of repairing the old wharf, which continues to deteriorate and is now closed to the public. He had been investigating options for sourcing granite blocks and asked if the board was interested in him pursuing this further, a request which received enthusiastic approval from board members.


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