Katherine Town Council has agreed to press on and apply the finishing touches to the long-delayed Hot Springs upgrade.
In a meeting closed to the public because of coronavirus protocols, council agreed to go ahead with shade for centrepiece of a playground the hot springs, the much discussed concrete and steel turtle.
"We have been presented with four options, I would suggest that we go ahead with option 2 and adopt a shade cloth for the turtle," council chief executive Ian Bodill told council last night.
Council considered three options to shade the almost $400,000 turtle centrepiece at the new playground.
The recommended option, costing $59,000, was eventually adopted, subject to a final budget deliberation.
"For future reference, we need to be careful to adopt more accurate financial allotments, and to check the content of the tender carefully," Alderman Peter Gazey said.
"You're absolutely right. It's unfortunate that we've had to take such a steep learning curve on this issue but we've absolutely got to get it right, we've just got to get it right," Mayor Fay Miller said.
"Overlooking the shade is just unacceptable in a climate like this," Alderman Elisabeth Clark said.
"It's unacceptable and we need to be better," Cr John Zelley said.
"We should have had a grant for this in the first place, a structure like that must have shade in a place like Katherine. I voted no for the turtle in the first place, and I'll be voting no for this as well," Alderman Jon Raynor said.
Alderman Raynor was the single opponent to the successful recommendation to pursue the $59,000 shade fix, and to order a budget review to encompass cost of shade.
Again, this was an unbudgeted expense for the hot springs project, which has already seen $1.5 million diverted from the CBD upgrades.
The total project has cost more than $3 million, money provided by the NT Government, and taken more than four years.
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