Many people have asked the question “why do ratepayers have to contribute to the cost of more sporting facilities, why don’t you raise the money from elsewhere?”
The alternate sources of funding for such facilities are corporate, community trusts, other stakeholders, and individuals. There are no corporations with deep pockets that have a major stake in Thames as is the case with Newmont Waihi Gold. Newmont has made significant contributions to new community facilities in Waihi over the past few years. Community trusts such as Lotteries Commission and Trust Waikato have funds available for such projects but they require that the community that benefits comes to the party first. They have specific rules regarding the portion of costs the local Council must contribute. In the case of an indoor court facility, two thirds of the total cost needs to come from the Council. The other significant stakeholder which will benefit from the proposed dry court and aquatic facilities is Thames High School (THS). THS has no funds of its own for such projects and the Ministry of Education won’t contribute because THS has a declining roll. Ministry funds are directed to schools with growing rolls.
We have already secured a $10k grant from a small local trust which has got us under way. Once we have got commitment from the major funding partners, we will invite contributions from local businesses and individuals. Small communities like Thames rely on Council support for major sporting and recreational projects.
TCDC is our Council run by our elected members so let’s tell them what’s important to us. Make sure you complete a submission form for the Long Term Plan by April 2, 2012.