The Otago Regional Council received 66 submissions on its
plan to invest $3.5 million in Tarras Water Ltd's irrigation
Council director of corporate services Wayne Scott said
submissions opposing the proposal ''significantly outnumber''
those in favour.
He said the content of the submissions would be made public
in January when a hearing was held.
Proponents of the $35.6 million irrigation scheme asked the
council for a $3.5 million buy-in which could see general
rates bills rise as much as 5.4%.
Proponents had raised about $8 million through farmer buy-in
and asked the Central Otago District Council to act as a loan
guarantor for a bank loan to cover the remaining funds.
In October, the district council agreed to act as guarantor
for about $7 million, or 20% of the capital cost of the
scheme, even though the majority of the 32 submissions lodged
on the proposal opposed the idea.
If there was ever a call on the loan guarantee, it would be
recovered through targeted rates from the direct
beneficiaries of the scheme, about 40 Tarras farmers.