When the Sandown “gift” was announced, there was no costing made available. The responsible and reasoned approach taken by councillors Dunstan Browne, Ted Daly, Conny McBride and Craig Mearns has highlighted the following facts and costs to the district.
There is no gift from the Randall family. The acquisition of Sandown carries huge costs to the district taxpayers, both in cash and land. The Randalls walk away from ongoing costs and liability to a net gain of about $4.8 million by developing the land.
The district cannot quantify the true costs. A two page business plan is not a plan.
Municipal staff have estimated costs at $700,000. Each time council seeks cost answers, the costs increase. Significant costs have not been addressed, such as the cost of operating the crop land (water, drainage, deer-proofing, clean up and staff time).
Let’s see a proper business plan which will show the buyers (taxpayers) a sound reason for taking Sandown instead of upgrading infrastructure. There is no farm land at Sandown. Do we incur the costs to create farmland or do we buy existing farm land?