From Tauranga City Council chambers

Future of city library in question

The council debated whether to push back a planned rebuild of the central library.

Last year the council agreed to a $35 million rebuild to be completed by 2022.

Councillor John Robson called for pause on the project, saying the council was in a "very different space to where we were a year ago".

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Pushing the project back would lower the burden on an incoming council post-election later this year, he said.

Work on the Tauranga Library in 2016. Photo / file
Work on the Tauranga Library in 2016. Photo / file

Councillor Larry Baldock said a peer-reviewed analysis of the current library building on Willow St showed it had a "limited life".

"This winter we may well see it leaking again.

"We can't stick our heads in the sand.

Chief executive Marty Grenfell said he did not believe the council had a mandate to advance the project, and he could not see the council money on it any time soon.

From Western Bay of Plenty District Council chambers

Ōmokoroa library to potentially stay in council hands

A request to ask the council to consider retaining ownership of the Ōmokoroa Library on McDonnell St has been heard and taken on board.

Ōmokoroa Community Board chairman Murray Grainger asked elected members to consider keeping the current library, instead of selling it as part of its potential relocation to the future Ōmokoroa sporting pavilion.

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Grainger asked the board to consider keeping the existing library building as a community asset.

The council agreed, amending its resolution to state it would seek indicative funding from the possible sale of the existing library, as well as other sources.


Wider roads for Waihī to Ōmokoroa SH2 stretch

Safety upgrades on State Highway 2 are underway as progress continues on the first part of a five-year project.

NZ Transport Agency Beca consultant Alister McCaw told elected members yesterday of plans to widen SH2 between Waihī and Ōmokoroa as a priority.

"Everyone knows we have to do something about it. The corridor needs treatment."

McCaw said a median barrier could be installed all the way from Waihī to Ōmokoroa "but there would be no widening of the road or shoulder and no side barrier".

McCaw said most crashes (40 to 45 per cent) on this stretch of highway involved people running off the road, compared to crossing the centre line (22 per cent).

Congestion is a problem on SH2 between Waihī and Ōmokoroa but safety works are in progress. Photo / file
Congestion is a problem on SH2 between Waihī and Ōmokoroa but safety works are in progress. Photo / file

He said the community would reap better rewards from widening the road instead of installing a median barrier, for now. A median barrier was still recommended as an upgrade for a later date.

McCaw said potential hazards such as trees and power poles were already being removed as part of the safety works.

The works have been broken into three contracts between now and June 2024: between Waihī and Trig Rd, between Trig Rd and Lindermann Rd, and between Wharawhara Rd and Ōmokoroa Rd.