So Cambridge’s historic Water Tower looks like it is going to be getting a bit of a facelift in the next few years to make it less of a safety and earthquake risk.
Current estimates to get it up to 67% of New Build Standard (with 100% being the equivalent of a newly built structure) are as much as $1.69 million.
There is an immediate issue in the short-term to address regarding the tank on the top which will cost $375,000. The balance of the work will likely be undertaken during 2024-26.
I know there is strong sentiment in Cambridge about the need to restore the tower and I acknowledge the heritage aspects of it being that it is only of one two of it’s kind in the country. It has to be noted also that having Heritage New Zealand agreement to have it dismantled would be a tricky and potentially costly process. These are valid points of view.
However, today I spoke with a number of people who were concerned about the level of cost to restore a structure that serves no useful purpose. They felt the funds could be better used to support the creation of facilities for the community that had greater utility and benefit. This too is a valid point of view.
I am really interested in your thoughts on this one as it’s probably an issue that will come before the community in the course of our next Long Term Plan. Always good to get people talking think about these things!