Debate heating up

The debate has already started, and more major issues are on the horizon, as Dunedin city councillors begin considering the financial future of the city.

An agenda for next week's 2012-13 pre-draft budget plan meetings, released yesterday, highlights a raft of major concerns about Dunedin's stadium debt, how stadium officials will pay the venue's rates bill to the council, and the distorting influence of the venue's value on city rates.

The future of the St Clair seawall's repairs is also under a legal cloud, while consideration of a new $11.5 million aquatic facility in Mosgiel could be delayed by at least a year, as staff rethink the proposed project.

The Otago Daily Times will be examining the reports in detail today and publishing details ahead of next week's meetings, which begin with a non-public workshop for councillors on Monday before a public meeting on Tuesday and Wednesday.

However, debate between councillors has begun already, with Crs Bill Acklin and Richard Thomson squaring off yesterday over plans to slash spending on Logan Park and other city projects and assets.

Community groups have already reacted to the plans, with Cycling group Spokes Dunedin disappointed by plans to delay cycleway work on Otago Peninsula, and another looming delay to the long-awaited South Dunedin library disappointing promoters of the concept.


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