The West Coast Regional has adopted its annual plan for the coming financial year, confirming a nil rate increase.
The council has agreed to borrow up to $750,000 from the Local Government Funding Agency if required, at an interest
rate of about 1% to cover any resulting deficit.
Taking out a short-term loan was preferable to inflicting more pain on ratepayers dealing with the financial fallout of
Covid-19, chairman Allan Birchfield has previously stated.
At the council's extraordinary meeting this morning he said nearly $200,000 of the loan was for research into
Significant Natural Areas for the new combined district plan (aka the one plan) for the West Coast.
Mr Birchfield has objected to that spend, while other members of the one-plan working group have argued the SNA work is
a legal requirement and refusing to do it would delay the plan by a year, costing ratepayers more in the long run.
The council's chief executive Mike Meehan said the regional council was looking at ways of cutting costs and making
savings, and it might be yet be possible to avoid borrowing all or part of the $750,000.