The Tasman District Council has confirmed construction of Motueka’s new $5 million library will begin as planned in September, providing 19 full-time local jobs and a boost to the construction sector and suppliers.

The new library has been planned for several years to replace the ageing and undersized library in Pah Street with a modern, sustainable new building in Decks Reserve.

Tasman Mayor Tim King said the Council had committed to a zero rates revenue increase in the next financial year, and was reassessing its projects and operations to identify efficiencies and cost-savings.

“As part of that consideration, which will be ongoing over the next several months, we’ve taken a close look at the Motueka Library project. This is a project that will provide local construction jobs – as well as long-term benefits to the Motueka community through the services and opportunities the facility will provide.”

Regionally-based Coman Construction is the contractor appointed to carry out the build.

Tim said part of the analysis of the library project also looked at the cost to the Council of cancelling the contract.

“The costs of cancelling are potentially significant. Continuing with the project was clearly the best option given both the benefits to the community of the new library, and the likely financial impacts of opting out now.”

The Council has also decided to seek external grant funding towards some of the sustainable, cultural and landscaping features of the new library.

Tim said the Council would play a key role in Tasman District’s economic recovery through continued investment in community infrastructure.

“We know we need to take care to manage the impacts of our rates demands on our community while balancing that with continued investment.”