Recovery cash eyed 

Part of the unspent $258,645 in the Waipā Covid community recovery fund will go towards temporary fencing at Lake Karāpiro’s Mighty River Domain.

The domain will have temporary fencing until end of April – the area fenced will include the terraces area and the café.

The project was one of four suggestions for the remaining money from the $400,000 allocated in August last year to help the district recover from the pandemic.

In a report to an extraordinary Strategic Planning and Policy committee meeting this week, Strategic Partnerships manager Gary Knighton said $141,355 was originally allocated in November last year.

There had been a stronger economic recovery than anticipated until the Covid Delta variant appeared.

“The Covid-19 response continues to be a dynamic situation. With the recent implementation of the Covid-19 Protection Framework the ability to respond quickly to community needs is ever present,” Knighton said.

At the request of councillors, staff looked at ways to use the funds, so the focus was on areas of community benefit such as vaccination, community safety and support for the hospitality, retail and events sectors.

Knighton said Mighty River Domain had suffered with several major cancellations including the Waka Ama nationals and various rowing events.

“To enable implementation of the traffic light system and vaccine passes, it is essential that a temporary fenced area be installed at the domain.”
Committing to that now would give event promoters greater confidence to continue with established events.

The fencing is expected to cost $20,000.

Commsafe Te Awamutu and the Cambridge Safer Communities Trust will receive $30,000 in total from the allocation. Both organisations said they could make a significant impact with the funding.

The two Chambers of Commerce in Cambridge and Te Awamutu have also expressed interested in an alfresco dining proposal.

Staff approached Waikato District Health Board to support its vaccination campaigns.

“While these have been well funded, discussions with the Waikato DHB have suggested if some funding could be made available for incentives or prizes to encourage rangatahi to become vaccinated, would be useful.”

That would require $2000, said Knighton.

The balance of the fund will be allocated upon application to Strategic Planning and Policy committee, but if there are urgent applications they are to be allocated in consultation with chief executive, mayor and committee chairs.

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