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Rest easy, Larry the Lobster is staying put in Kingston, South China

by admin on 17/12/2018

Rest easy, Larry the Lobster is staying put Icon: Will one of ‘s most well-known “big things” Larry the Lobster remain in Kingston?
苏州夜生活

Staying/going: Will Kingston District Council come in to keep Larry the Lobster in Kingston?

Larry before being upgraded.

Larry before being upgraded.

TweetFacebookThe back story …It was thought it would be left to Kingston District Council to save Larry the Lobster from leaving town.

The iconic tourist attraction –an internationally recognised feature of the town since its construction in 1979 – has been on the market for more than 12 months after being given an extensive facelift, but has so far failed to sell.

Now,owners Casey and Jenna Sharpe have received an offer from a buyer in Western to take the iconic lobsteroff their hands.

The development made international headlines, with the New York Times running an article on the lobster possiblyleaving Kingston.

Last week, the Sharpes offered the council the chance to buy it instead so it can stay in Kingston, setting a deadline of Monday this week for a decision.

Casey Sharpe saws into Larry’s antenna during repairs in 2016.

CouncilCEO Heather Schinckel explained that council had a very tight timeline after being offered the chance to buy the asset on Monday, August 27.

“That request came to us and they gave us a week to make a decision,” Ms Schinckel said.“We had five business days and a deadlineof September 3.”

The council had a special meeting on Friday to discussthe matter. Councillors decided at the meeting that they would show an interest in buying the Big Lobster, but would requestan extension on the deadline to properly investigate the matter.

“First of all, there is a whole pile of due diligence checks that council really does need to take before they proceed with the purchase,” Ms Schinckelsaid. “That’s about having accountability and informed decision-making on behalf of the community.”

Ms Schinckel added that council will be investigatingthe cost of the lease to leave Larry where he is, as it has the option to leasethat part of the land. The council will also look at whether it would be betterto purchase part of the land.

“We need to check for structural integrity of Larry, we need to think about the ongoing cost and we probably need to talk to the community, the people that our elected members represent,” she said. “We need time to achieve that..苏州夜生活uncil thought that five business days was unreasonable.”

Another twist to the story is that the caretaker period for the council approaching November’s local government elections starts on September 18. Council is prohibited from making certain decisions during that time.

Restrictions on the council include not entering contracts higher than $10,000, avoidingspending unbudgeted money, and conducting unplannedpublic consultation.

Ms Schinckel said: “We’ve let the Sharpes know that we are interested in investigating the purchase, but have requested an extension of time to let the newly elected council to make a sound decision on the purchase of Larry on behalf of the community.”

The Big Lobster has constantly been in the news in recent years, including controversy over funds from a GoFundMe account created for a much-needed upgrade, followed by the Sharpes funding a large scale facelift themselves, the closure of the restaurant behind Larry and finally the listing of the much recognised structure for sale.

In 2016, national radio duo Hamish and Andy launched the #PinchAMate campaign to raise money and awareness about the need to upgrade Larry.

Coastal Leader

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