Council drops demand for sculpture maintenance bond

By John Cousins

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Tauranga City Council has dropped its demand for a $150,000 maintenance bond before the Hairy Maclary sculptures can be installed on the downtown waterfront.

A special meeting of the council today also agreed to contribute up to $50,000 towards the installation of the statues of Hairy Maclary and his storybook pals.

The money will come from existing budgets including the estimated $50,000 saving in the Pilot Bay boardwalk project. Councillors were told that the bronze waterfront statues in Wellington cost virtually nothing to maintain.

The 6-5 vote was a big helping hand for the project and reverses the undertaking that Creative Tauranga gave the council last year that it would provide a $150,000 bond to cover maintenance costs for the next 50 years.

And the $50,000 contribution plus potential in-kind assistance from the council's city partners could end up covering the total installation costs that were originally budgeted at $100,00.

The effect of the decision was that Creative Tauranga now had $250,000 left to raise to fund the sculptural component of the project, although $200,000 of that amount has been underwritten by a benefactor in order that the statues could be designed and cast.

Creative Tauranga wants to get them installed by Christmas.

Waiving the bond and assisting with installation costs was supported by Mayor Stuart Crosby and councillors Larry Baldock, Tony Christiansen, Bill Grainger, Terry Molloy and Wayne Moultrie. Councillors who supported assisting the project but putting it through next year's Annual Plan process were Rick Curach, Bill Faulkner, Murray Guy, Catherine Stewart and David Stewart.

- Bay of Plenty Times

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