Property on agenda

Due to the sluggish recovery of the property market and a need to re-think how council-owned buildings are managed, the Waitaki District Council will tomorrow discuss the funding of its property portfolio.

Council corporate services group manager Carolyn Carter said the council invested in land and property not only for commercial and residential use but also to bring in additional funding, boost economic growth and create employment.

However, Mrs Carter said that with the slow recovery in the property market some properties earmarked to be sold had not found buyers, meaning that interest costs continued to accrue.

Other "high-level funding options" would now be considered for inclusion in the 2013/14 annual plan, she said.

"Like many other councils, Waitaki has purchased a number of properties over the years to encourage economic development and deliver community benefit. Many of these purchases occurred during a period of high values and sales.

"The comparative slowdown in sales in recent years has meant council has needed to hold properties until the market improves and sales can be realised. Until this happens, we consider that it is prudent to consider options that can reduce the interest portion of these debts."


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