Anderson House back on agenda

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    Anderson House. Photo: Sanda Jukic

    THE “iconic” Invercargill Anderson House building is set to be open to the public next year after six years of frustration from the community.

    During an Infrastructural Services meeting on Tuesday, Invercargill City councillors made the decision to undertake immediate remedial maintenance, seismic strengthening and fire and access improvements in the building to allow the public to go inside it once again.

    It had been closed since 2014 due to earthquake concerns.

    This would mean the house in 1951 by the Anderson family in time for the celebration of its 70th anniversary.

    A report was presented by council’s interim parks and recreation manager Michele Frey, which recommends a fund of $400,000 be approved and remedial work start immediately.

    She then suggested the seismic strengthening and other improvements, which would cost about $800,000, be done once a suitable future use was identified or after the resolution of an application, which would be made in the next round of the Lotteries Environment and Heritage Fund.

    However, councillors rejected the plan as it would mean council would need to wait until June next year to have any progress on the matter.

    Cr Nigel Skelt said he had been talking to the community and he had no doubt Anderson House was a high priority for residents.

    He was disappointed council had the matter on its table since 2017, but had deferred any decision since then.

    “The level of frustration is high. It is an iconic, historic building…

    “We can’t wait until next year, we have to show to this community, our ratepayers, that we have some responsibility to look out to the assets that we own. This is our asset.”

    He said council had done a “a damn poor job in the last four years of doing that” and it was time to move forward on that matter.

    Crs moved the motion for the required work to start immediately and council would investigate to apply for the lottery funding to upgrade the kitchen, toilet and any improvements on the building.

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