11 Oct 2009

Selwyn council puts $1.3m more into irrigation proposal

11:56 am on 11 October 2009

Selwyn District Council has invested another $1.3 million in an irrigation scheme proposal without consultation, but says most of its ratepayers will accept the decision.

Christchurch City Council and Selwyn District Council made joint decisions about supporting loans for the Central Plains Water Enhancement scheme.

However Selwyn District Council has now invested a total of $2.4 million while the city council is left with no financial involvement in the scheme.

Behind closed doors two months ago, Selwyn District Council decided to buy $500,000 debt off the Christchurch City Council and lend the irrigation company a further $800,000.

The funding allocation was decided in committee at a council meeting in August, and only revealed Friday.

The district's mayor, Kelvin Coe, says both councils had to approve any further loan funding and it was becoming problematic to get approval from Christchurch City Council, so the only way to proceed was to buy them out.

He believes ratepayers will accept the decision but accepts the money is at risk if the irrigation scheme is not approved.

Part of the original scheme has already been rejected and a revised resurce consent application is to be heard in Christchurch on Monday.