The Ashburton District Council today decided to continue to offer a discounted rental rate to local sporting groups, using the EA Networks Centre's Sports House as it was intended from the outset of the project.
A rate of $140 per square metre per annum will continue for the foreseeable future but if there is no increase in usage of the House within the next six months, Council officers will be required to report to the Council on alternative uses for the space.
The decisions were made at an extraordinary meeting of the Council attended by representatives from Sport Mid-Canterbury, Mid-Canterbury Netball and Mid-Canterbury Rugby.
Neil McCann, the Council's Group Manager Service Delivery, said that each of the groups had their own needs for office space and the Council wanted to ensure that other local sporting groups could also be accommodated. "Council is keen to support and work with local sports groups to occupy Sports House and have been working with them towards this end, but we are conscious of our commitment to minimising the impact on ratepayers in all our discussions with the community" he said.
At the meeting, it was agreed that a Council Subcommittee of Councillors and staff would be set up to take a closer look at the issue and report its findings to the Council.