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The Otautau Town Hall has been closed to all new users, effective from 1 July, but the local Floral Art Club and RSA have been given three months to find alternative premises.
Southland District Council chief executive David Adamson said the Wallace Community Board has had to make a hard decision to close the entire Otautau Town Hall, as it is earthquake prone.
"This decision was not made lightly and was based on advice from Council's Management team along with a legal opinion," he said.
The hall has an overall seismic rating of less than 33%, the base required amount under law, and as such, the Board made a decision two years ago to close the hall, however subsequent concern about this decision resulted in the community being allowed to try and establish a trust to upgrade it.
The auditorium has a seismic capacity of 18%, but the RSA and the local Floral Art Club were able to continue to use the front portion of the building, which has a seismic capacity of 30%.
Unfortunately with recent events in Christchurch, the community action group now considering the possibility of a new facility and with requests for bookings, a decision on the future of the hall was necessary.
"Council has a role in terms of the Local Government Act to consider social issues in its decision making. In this particular case the question was asked about what the social impact for Otautau and its wider community would be if the building was being used by a large number of people, and an earthquake struck, causing a partial or full collapse. The answer to this is obvious - it would be significant," Mr Adamson said.
"After seeking legal advice it was established that it is not illegal to continue to use the hall, but this is not about what is legal or not, but rather about what is the correct position to take as a responsible building owner, given that the building is earthquake prone, and the quakes in Christchurch," he said.
"The board has not made the decision to close the entire hall without due consideration and we have offered assistance to the RSA and the Floral Art Club to find new premises. The Board and Council will continue working with the community action group and the community to find a win-win outcome for all."