Funding agency plan change by WDC

In an about-turn, Waitaki district councillors have moved against a recommendation the Waitaki District Council join the Local Government Funding Agency as a non-guaranteed member.

Last month, councillors moved in favour of aligning the council with the agency as a non-guaranteed member, which meant its borrowing would be capped at $20million.

However, at yesterday’s additional council meeting, councillors unanimously voted against a recommendation from council finance and corporate development group manager Paul Hope, and instead moved to join as a guaranteed member.

That meant the council could borrow more than $20million if needed, without an additional interest payment of 0.1%.

Cr Colin Wollstein said being a guaranteed member of the agency would mean lower costs to the council, and that any money borrowed would go directly to "services in Waitaki".

Crs Peter Newton, Melanie Tavendale and Bill Kingan all supported Mr Wollstein’s amendment to Mr Hope’s recommendation.

Three public submissions were received on the proposal — two in favour of joining as a non-guaranteed member, and one as a guaranteed member.

At present, the council had debts of between $7million and $8million.

When asked how much the council expected to borrow, Mr Hope said that would depend on how the council’s Crown funding applications went, but it was likely to be about $15million.

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