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Council prepares for library feasibility study

July 7th, 2017
[by David Armstrong]

The first step in the process of developing a new Motueka Library was taken yesterday when TDC's Community Development Committee agreed to work on the required feasibility study and community consultation.

The feasibility study will compare the alternatives of either greatly enlarging the existing library in Pah Street or building a new one in Wallace Street beside the i-Site. (See our earlier story.)

Surprisingly, the study will also consider the "new build" option as part of a community hub on the southern edge of Decks Reserve, which could include the relocated Council service centre, a meeting room and facilities for tourists.

The feasibility study will be carried out by an independent consultant, chosen under advice from Council staff and a new Motueka Library Working Party.

The working party comprises Cr Peter Canton as chairman, Cr David Ogilvie, Brent Maru (representing the Community Board), and Council's Community Development Manager, Libraries Manager and Reserves and Facilities Manager.

Their job will be to oversee the development of the feasibility study and manage the community engagement process which will be part of the study.

Representatives from iwi, relevant user groups, and relevant community groups, may be invited to attend working party meetings when required, but will have speaking rights only and not voting rights.

Vision Motueka, which first put the Decks Reserve library and community hub proposal to TDC back in March 2013, expects to be a contributor to the process.

The working party's first job will be to prepare the project scope - what the feasibility study will include and what the money will be spent on - and to prepare a process for engaging the Motueka community to gain their opinions and ideas.

They will also seek proposals to complete the feasibility study and community engagement from appropriate consultants able to undertake the work, and recommend a preferred candidate to the Council's Community Development Manager, Susan Edwards.

They will then advise and assist the chosen consultant to complete the work, especially the community engagement component.

Council staff will be made available to provide technical expertise, project management and administrative support; advise on the procurement process for engaging the consultants; advise on legal and statutory issues and obligations; and organise and manage engagement with key stakeholders and the wider community.

Before the Council subcommittee meeting yesterday, Council staff had advised that the prospect of a community hub associated with a new library be put aside, but Councillors decided that it was more sensible to consider the longer-term prospect of such a facility in the heart of Motueka, and therefore to include it as part of the "new build" option.

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