Gore’s dog pound may be moving to the airport, but there are concerns the new facility may blow the budget and inhibit future opportunities for the district.
At a full council meeting on Tuesday, Gore district councillors approved in principle a recommendation to construct a new dog pound at 28 Jubilee Ave in Charlton, next to Gore airport.
Councillors will make a final decision at next month’s meeting following a cost analysis.
In a report tabled at Tuesday’s meeting, facilities administration officer Neil Mair said it was decided in 2019 the current pound at the oxidation pond was unsuitable and a new pound should be constructed.
A site on the western side of the ponds was identified last year, but the council could not get the neighbour’s approval, the report said.
“Basically, this is the only other alternative to be suitable,” Mr Mair said at the meeting.
The neighbouring aero club could see no issue that would hinder it or the airport, Mr Mair said.
“We will have to add extra lighting and security and the airport can see the mutual benefit.”
Construction had been costed at $175,000 earlier this year, but that would have increased, he said.
“The building was ordered over a year ago and has not yet been delivered because we’ve been postponing it.”
The site at the airport also needed foundation work and more security fencing, Mr Mair said.
Cr Doug Grant said the cost was a concern.
“I can’t vote for this recommendation because we don’t know what the cost is going to be. We already thought it’d be reasonably high,” he said.
“We don’t know if it’s going to be another 40 grand, another 60 grand or another 100 grand.”
Cr Neville Phillips said water was another cost to take into account.
“It’s not potable water, so you’re going to have to treat it in some way if you’re going to have staff inside that building.”
Cr Stewart MacDonell said the new site seemed to tick many boxes.
“Planes and dogs, they can both make noise,” he said.
“I do like the idea that it’s outside the urban boundaries. I do like the idea that it’s a bit more central to both Gore and Mataura.
“This is land that we’re not doing much with. It seems to me to be a pretty good location all round.”
Cr Nicky Davis said the land owner at the oxidation pond might have “done us a favour in the long term”.
“I think this is a really good alternative.”
Cr John Gardyne said it was good the location avoided farms.
“Dogs do not go together with a sheep farm, so it’s a good place to have it.”
Cr Cliff Bolger said no other uses were planned for the site.
“At this stage I don’t think there is any impediment for a dog pound going there,” he said.
However, Cr Bret Highsted said the proposal seemed short-sighted.
“In terms of amenities, one of our key assets for our district is this airport. If that’s some form of gateway to Gore by way of aircraft, and we’ve got a dog pound there, it doesn’t fly with me,” he said.
“I don’t think we’ve got a long-term view on the solution.”
The land could be needed for other purposes in the future, Cr Highsted said.
“There’s residential units springing up on airfields around the country. I think we could live to regret putting the dog pound here in maybe 25 years’ time.”