The South Waikato Council resolved to not build the new i-SITE building as part of the Tokoroa CBD Upgrade, due the cost being $850,000 over the agreed budget.

“We’re taking a step back to r e-establish the principles agreed with the community a year ago,” said Chief Executive Ben Smit. “We will also be investigating how technology changes can be used to better inform visitors to our district.”

Council will also be scoping the proposed Town Centre Manager function and how that role could be used to activate the Leith Place area and wider town retail space.

Once a revised full project scope is in place Council will communicate this to the community.

Following this, steps are likely to include a selection of landscape and plaza space designs, including a new toilet and activation space; which the community can provide feedback on.

“Given the current costs our Council and community are facing, we think our decision to step away from the building at this stage is prudent,” said Mayor Jenny Shattock.

“There will be opportunity for community feedback on redesigns for the plaza area, so do keep your thoughts coming.”

No further works are likely to start before Christmas to avoid potential issues over the festive season, however works will start early in January. NZTA will be working on the highway in March and Council will dovetail stormwater improvements with these works.