18 Sep 2014

Waitaki council halves irrigation loan offer

7:16 am on 18 September 2014

The North Otago Irrigation Company wants the council's investment as the cornerstone of a plan to double the scheme's reach to water at least 20,000 hectares of farmland.

A study released earlier this year showed that the scheme had created hundreds of jobs in the region.

The council originally planned to increase its current investment of $12 million by another $9.5 million, but yesterday decided to halve the new loan offer to a maximum of $17 million after public concerns about the amount being lent.

The council said it has also agreed that the interest rate on the irrigation loan will be the one-year swap rate plus 1.25 percent, which is about 1 percent higher than its existing loan.

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