Councils eye $100m in debt in a decade

RHONDA MARKBY
Last updated 05:00 07/12/2012

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South Canterbury's three local authorities expect to have just over $100 million of debt 10 years from now.

The debt forecast figures are contained in the auditor-general's overview of local authorities' long-term plans for the next decade.

In the past financial year, the Timaru District Council had $80.5m of debt. The auditor-general's report suggests that in 2021-22 it would have debt of $969,441m (plus inflation).

Council corporate services manager Tina Rogers said the figure was incorrect, and that it was actually predicted to be $96.8m, which, when adjusted for inflation would probably increase to $102.8m.

Within 10 years, one-third of the CBay Aquatic Centre debt would be paid off, but new loans would need to be taken out for infrastructure projects, including roading and sewer work.

The Mackenzie District Council is debt free at present, but a decade from now it expects to have loans of $4.8m.

Reversing the loans trend is the Waimate District Council, which has $3.67m in debt, but by 2021-22 expects that figure to reduce to $815,000.

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- © Fairfax NZ News

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