60 days ago

Anniversary

CAT PURR-FECTION CATTERY

Wow hard to believe 14 years ago 2006, I official opened
CAT PURR-FECTION CATTERY
I have meet some amazing people and lots of gorgeous wee puddies and once we get through this crazy time, we will get back to some form of nomality
KEEP SAFE EVERYONE

More messages from your neighbours
5 days ago

Back our future generations - YES to 2B!

Catherine from Greytown

Dear Neighbour,

I'm writing to you about the proposal for the Council to create a sports and recreation hub in Greytown. This is part of the South Wairarapa District Council draft annual plan. The Council’s proposal has important implications for all those who receive grants from the Greytown Lands Trust.

This proposed new sports and recreation hub will need land, and so the Greytown Trust Lands Trust is proposing to sell the Council two of its properties. If the hub gets approval, Greytown’s many sporting codes would get a new sports and recreation facility they can all use, and which they desperately need. The Trust will also be able to reinvest the money, meaning it can keep giving out grants to a wide variety of community, education, sporting and cultural groups in town.

Some people think the Trust should gift the land to the Council, not sell it. The Trust is not allowed to do that by law. But even if it could, to do so would mean giving away nearly 20% of everything the trust owns. In the last financial year the Trust gave $254,000 in grants to the Greytown community. If the land was given away for free or discounted any further, the pool becomes smaller, and reduces the income available to support the Greytown community. So the Trust would have no choice but to cut both the numbers and amounts of grants in future.

And it’s not just the impact today. The assets of the Trust have been carefully looked after for 150 years so every generation of Greytown residents gets to benefit. Giving away ‘the family silver’ now means we leave less behind for future generations than was left for us.

So we urge you to make a submission in support of the proposal, because unless the Council gets a clear mandate from the whole community, there is a risk that it won’t get approved.

The deadline is THIS SUNDAY 24 May. You can let them know by:

• SWDC online submission www.surveymonkey.com...

• Sending an email to ap@swdc.govt.nz

• Dropping off a letter or submission to the library at 115 Main Street

• Giving your support over the phone at 06 306 9611.

• Posting a letter or submission to the Council at PO Box 6, Martinborough 5741 (you’d need to post it so it arrives before the deadline).

The proposal has also meant that many people are wanting to know more about the Trust and why there is debate about it. I have set out the answers to five of the key questions below:

1. What does the Trust do?

The Trust is a charitable trust that was first formed in 1871 for the benefit of local residents. Greytown is very lucky to have a community trust like this. Masterton is the only other place in the whole of New Zealand that has one the same.

The Trust even has its own Act of Parliament that sets the rules about how it is to be run. It has an elected group of six Trustees, supported by two administrative staff. The elections are held every 3 years, with 3 of the 6 trustees having to stand for election each time.

The aim of the trust is to distribute money each year for the benefit of Greytown’s residents. In the 2019 financial year it distributed $254,000. There are very clear policies about who gets supported. The three main areas are education; social, cultural and environmental; and active recreation and sport. There is no priority order. Set amounts are allocated to each policy area and organisations must apply for funding.

The support the Trust is able to give is important to a wide range of organisations, a list of which you’ll find below.

2. Where does the money for grants come from?

To do all this, the trust must generate a surplus each year from a number of rental properties it currently owns. The surplus is what’s left each year after paying maintenance and development costs on the Trust’s properties.

Every generation of trustees has what’s called a fiduciary duty. That’s a legal term that means they have to preserve and grow the value of the trust and pass it on, so succeeding generations of Greytown residents can also benefit from the surpluses. That means the job of the Trustees is a quite a tricky one. The Trust funds must be carefully invested, making sure all the properties generate a good return, without taking on too much risk.

3. Why is a sports and recreation hub being proposed?

Many of the sport and recreation facilities in Greytown are ageing, are over utilised, and can no longer cater for a growing population. And nor do they cater for the much greater diversity of sports and recreation these days. There are 16 sports clubs and organisations for instance in Greytown.

So the idea of the hub is to repurpose the rugby rooms and fields into a multi-sports facility. It would provide a permanent base for rugby, junior football (soccer) and baseball, with further capacity for athletics, a walking track, a wheels park and other sports and recreation facilities.

The trust currently owns the land under the rugby and bowling clubs, and it’s this land that can provide the location for the new facilities. So the idea is that we sell that land to the Council who then create the new facility.

You can find more information about the proposal on the Council’s website:

www.swdc.govt.nz...

4. What has been happening with the land under the rugby and bowls clubs?

The Trust rents the land to the rugby and bowls clubs, and for many years gave both clubs a grant of up to 95% to pay their rent bill. That worked for a long time, but as the region has grown, and more people have come to live and work in Greytown over the last decade, the value of the land under the clubs has been gradually increasing.

That means the rents have been driven up (just the same as an expensive house is more expensive to rent, and a cheaper house is less expensive). And that has meant the rent subsidies from the Trust have grown too, to the point where the situation was getting out of control.

The Greytown Rugby Club has a 7 yearly rent review coming up on 1 July 2021. Based on recent values, the rent is likely to go to at least $82,500 a year. The Bowls Club land values and rents have been increasing too.

If nothing is done, and the Trust keeps subsidising the rent, the two clubs could end up getting nearly half of the total pool for all Trust grants. That would be unfair. The 16 other sports clubs and organisations currently share a total of only $20,000 a year between them.

Equally, these two clubs cannot pay rent at those levels without the subsidy. So if the Trust sells the land to the Council, which would not need to charge rent, the difficult financial position of the two clubs is resolved, and the unequal treatment between sports clubs is removed too.

5. What if the proposal does not get approved?

The Bowls and the Rugby clubs have legal leases in place. If the clubs are able to continue to pay the rent, the Trust is comfortable to remain the landlord of these two properties. However, if they are unable to pay the rent then the Trust would need to take action. If the leases were cancelled then this would allow the Trust to look at its options.

One option is to develop the land for residential housing and use the proceeds to invest on behalf of the Greytown community. Another option is to sell the land to a developer and let them take on the risk (and return). The Trust has not thought any further than this, and certainly does not have any development plans sitting there just waiting to go.

It is really important to say that the status quo is not an option. The March 2020 valuations of the Trust’s long leasehold land in Greytown (which includes the Rugby and Bowls clubs, as well as the Plunket rooms and Cobblestones Museum) accounts for 21% of the Trust’s $15.3m of Assets, but after rent subsidies, returned just 0.4%.

The Trust has made a real effort to help this proposal become a reality. The prices it has agreed to sell the Bowls and Rugby Club land to the Council represent a 22% and 53% discount on what the Trust could achieve if the land was developed.

Answers to further questions can be found on the Trust website at www.greytowntrustlands.org.nz....

So in summary, three things have now come together: the need to reinvest in sports and recreation facilities for a growing Greytown population, the need to help the rugby and bowls clubs out of their rent predicament and the need for the trust to earn a proper rate of return on its properties for the benefit of all.

Thank you for your consideration of this matter.

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2 hours ago

Would you like to meet new people?

Manchester Unity Friendly Society - Greytown Lodge

Manchester Unity can offer you the chance to meet like minded people while enjoying a wide range of social events.
Events we have planned include, High Tea, Mini Golf, Attending WOW and Wellington on a Plate and a super Christmas function!
If you would like to know more about how to join please contact:


Pip on 04 566 7132 or pipm@manchesterunity.org.nz

L
2 hours ago

MISSING INJURED KITTY - CARTERTON

Lee from South Wairarapa District

MISSING

Pud Pud is a grey and black tabby male cat, 9 years old. He has an injured front right paw, could be limping. He is a medium/large kitty. Pud Pud is very shy of strangers.
He escaped at South Wairarapa Veterinary Services from a car in the carpark last Tuesday 19 May, High St North in Carterton.

Much loved companion animal to two disabled people; and 88 year young retired person. We are very worried about him as he escaped before he had received any treatment. Please call 022 374 3217.

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