The South Taranaki District Council has been asked to pay back a $500,000 loan from one of Patea's oldest funds over the next 10 years.
The council has used the money for work on the Patea River moles and also to help Aotea Utanganui - Museum of South Taranaki.
The work has cost $540,000, with the money taken from the Patea Harbour Endowment Fund.
Phillippa Wilson, STDC's corporate services group manager, said the fund was a very old one that the council had inherited.
"There must have been a Patea Harbour Board that looked after the mouth of the river. With local government reorganisation, the money was put into endowment funds to be looked after by the councils, but to be used for the betterment of that area."
Money can be taken out of the fund for work outside of the old harbour zone, but it is classed as a loan and must be returned.
Patea Community Board members voted on Wednesday for the loans to be repaid over a decade.
- Taranaki Daily News
Where do you buy most of your books nowadays?Related story: Online sales final page for independent bookshop