Public funds for marina

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Public funds could now be used to smooth the way for a long-awaited Frankton marina development.
Queenstown councillors voted on Tuesday to remove their own ban on allocating any budget at all to the painfully-slow project. 

Previous attempts to build a marina in Frankton Arm have ended in failure. 

Earlier this year, Queenstown Lakes District Council cancelled a deal dating back to 2006 with Christchurch construction magnate Buzz March. 

March’s Queenstown Marina Developments planned a $20 million, 240-berth marina. But the project ran into funding difficulties attributed to the global economic downturn. 

Cr John Mann told the meeting that one of the problems of the last seven years was operating under the restriction. 

The option to “lever some other funding” through the use of public money should “be left open”, Mann says. 

A new working party was also established at the council meeting. It will seek expressions of interest from developers and evaluate a shortlist of proposals. 

The council is expected to appoint a development company in November next year.