The Whakatāne District Council’s Projects and Services Committee has recommended that the Council fund the insurance excess for damage to the Awakaponga Hall caused by the April 2017 storm events, and then transfer the policy to the hall owner.

The hall is owned by the Awakaponga Public Hall Board, but the Council has held and funded the insurance policy for the facility since 1995. As with other similar Council-owned assets, the policy carries an ‘excess’ cost of $25,000 as part of any insurance claim.

A report received by the Committee last week detailed the extensive damage to the hall’s unsealed chipboard floor after the area was flooded in April last year. As a result, the floor requires replacement, at a like-for-like cost of $44,000, including the excess cost.

If the committee’s recommendations are adopted by the Council later this month, the $25,000 excess cost will be met from the 2018/19 Urban/Rural Halls renewals budget, with the insurer contributing $19,000 towards the like-for-like floor replacement. The Hall Board will meet the cost of upgrading the flooring product used to H3 standard and installing vapour barrier, at an estimated cost of $9,000. The Board will also undertake fundraising activities to repair the hall roof and guttering, before the floor is replaced.

To reduce the likelihood of future flooding, the Council’s Transportation group will fund road drainage improvements, at an estimated cost of $30,000, to redirect run-off from Caverhill Road away from the hall site.

The Hall Board will be able to apply to the Rangitāiki Community Board, or the Council’s annual grants fund, for funding to help cover the cost of future insurance premiums.