Surprise over stadium debt repayment

Athol Stephens
Athol Stephens
The revelation last week the Dunedin City Council's stadium debt is being paid off over a 40-year, rather than a 20-year, period has surprised some councillors.

The council began a debate on the issue late yesterday afternoon, but it was stopped mid-stream when 5pm rang on the Municipal Chambers clock.

Cr Kate Wilson asked finance and corporate support general manager Athol Stephens how the situation, of which she was unaware, had come about.

Mr Stephens responded a report to the council in September last year had stated under the present financial situation, the debt would take 40 years to pay.

Mayor Dave Cull said he was "not sure it makes any difference".

"We're now in a position to look at the options."

A report to the meeting said to shorten the loan to 20 years would require $1.9 million extra from ratepayers, meaning a cost of about $26 a year for the average ratepayer.

Cr Syd Brown asked if it would be better to have the debate when the final cost of the stadium was clear.

Mr Stephens said that would be reported on February 9, but would make little difference to the debt situation.

Cr Brown began suggesting a motion for a way forward, but was asked by Mr Cull to bring his ideas to the meeting this morning.


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