Closed museum power generator cost almost $17k

Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa - the Rotorua Museum has been closed since November 2016. Photo / File / Ben Fraser / Rotorua Daily Post.

Rotorua ratepayers are footing an almost $17,000 bill for a diesel-fuelled generator that was used to power the closed Rotorua Museum for four weeks in February.

A temporary power supply has been put in place at a further cost of just over $7000.

On Tuesday Rotorua Lakes Council arts and culture manager Stewart Brown said the council was alerted to the failed power supply by a tripped fuse.

The fuse trip safety mechanism isolated the supply and the generator was used while contractors dug up the failed cables and installed temporary power connections, he said.

The cost to set up the temporary supply was $7079 and was funded through the museum renovation project’s operational costs budget, he said.

Power to the closed museum was needed to enable critical building services to continue, such as alarm systems, he said.

“Design works to reinstate permanent power are now under way.

“That work will coincide with other underground service work planned during the museum project so won’t add to the overall project delivery timeframe.”

Rotorua Lakes Council arts and culture manager Stewart Brown. Photo / File / Stephen Parker / Rotorua Daily Post.

Brown said as the design process was still under way no timelines or cost estimates had been set.

“These costs will be part of the overall museum project budget.”

A council spokeswoman confirmed the $16,700 cost of the generator and ran for “approximately four weeks”.

She said the main power supply cables failed due to damage from heat and hydrogen sulphide corrosion.

Local Democracy Reporting asked the council if it had calculated the environmental impact of the generator and if any carbon offsetting would be done as a result.

The spokeswoman said any environmental impacts “are taken into account within the wider project framework” and offset “where possible”.

In a report to the April Operations and Monitoring Committee, chief executive Geoff Williams said electrical and geothermal pipe pathway redesigns were under way “to prevent a similar failure in the future”.

A $10,000 mistake

In his April Operations and Monitoring Committee report council chief executive Geoff Williams noted tree removal at the landfill “resulted in minor damage to a manhole and stormwater channel”.

On April 12 council waste services and sustainability manager Prashant Praveen said the damage would cost about $10,000 to repair.

“This cost has been offset by the sale of some of the wood from the felled trees.”

Praveen said a number of trees at the landfill were in an unsafe condition, posing a health and safety risk to personnel on site, traffic on State Highway 30 and to wastewater and stormwater assets in the area.

“During felling, movement of an excavator on a narrow strip of land between the old landfill site and the fence damaged the assets. The damage was minor and did not affect wastewater or stormwater flow.”

A closed museum

Te Whare Taonga o Te Arawa the Rotorua Museum, a category 1 heritage building was closed in November 2016 following the Kaikoura earthquake.

The closure was due to significant structural damage as well as the release of a detailed seismic assessment that showed it fell well below earthquake safety standards.

In April the council announced the 112-year-old building would not be finished until 2025, three years behind schedule.

The delay was due to issues that came to light during the pre-construction phase, a council release stated.

In early April council operations manager Jocelyn Mikaere said the delay would be at no extra cost.

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Aren't you glad...

Posted on 05-05-2021 12:44 | By morepork

...WE don’t have a museum... yet.