Matthew Martin is a senior reporter at the Rotorua Daily Post

Library and Health Hub contract up for debate

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Rosemary Michie (left) and Anita Stanley put together a petition against the council's plans to build a new children's health hub and combined library facility.
Rosemary Michie (left) and Anita Stanley put together a petition against the council's plans to build a new children's health hub and combined library facility.

The Rotorua Lakes Council is set to approve a contract for the building of its controversial Library and Children's Health Hub and will also decide on how the council will be run after October's elections, before a new council is sworn in.

Those two items and further decisions regarding the transfer of Tamatea St to Te Tahuna Trust and a land exchange for the Pererika St Reserve will be discussed at the final meeting of the council's Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee being held tomorrow from 9.30am in the council chamber.

Councillors will have a long day ahead of them when they reconvene from 2.30pm to discuss the one submission received and any changes required during a review of the district's Solid Waste Bylaw.

According to an agenda report, the Library and Children's Health Hub project is making good progress after six contractors registered interest in taking on the job that has a total budget of $12.8 million.

The project is a collaboration between the council and the Lakes District Health Board, that has committed almost $4 million toward its development.

According to the report, a panel of senior council and health board staff identified Fletcher Construction as the preferred contractor.

Council staff are asking councillors to allow them to sign off on a contract as long as it comes in on budget "as the process is time critical in terms of keeping the project on programme".

"If the construction cannot be achieved within the project budget, management will seek further direction from council and the DHB.

"If, as expected, the construction can be completed within budget, management request delegated authority from council to enter into a contract with Fletcher Construction and to commence the work as soon as is practicable," the agenda report stated.

With regard to the running of the council after election day on October 8, councillors will be asked to endorse a recommendation under the Local Government Act that "delegates all of its responsibilities, duties, and powers to the chief executive for the period from the day after the declaration of the election results until the swearing in of the new council".

Any decisions made by the chief executive can only be approved after consultation with the person elected to the position of mayor and if those matters cannot reasonably wait for the first meeting of the new council.

Those decisions must be reported to the first meeting of the new council and if "any urgent decisions arise in this period requiring significant political input, then an extraordinary council meeting will be called".

Strategy, Policy and Finance Committee
- Final committee meeting before October's elections
- From 9.30am in the council chamber
- Library and Children's Health Hub contract discussions
- The delegation of council operations to the chief executive
- Land exchange for Pererika St reserve
- Transfer of Tamatea St to Te Tahuna Trust
- Deliberations for the council's Solid Waste Bylaw

- Rotorua Daily Post

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