Waitaki Herald : August 6th 2014
4 WAITAKI HERALD, AUGUST 6, 2014 Council to consider NOIC loan extension By DANIEL BIRCHFIELD email@example.com The Waitaki District Council is to consider extending a loan to the North Otago Irrigation Company (NOIC) at its meeting today. In 2006, council gave the NOIC a loan of $10 million to fund irrigation infrastructure during the stage one build of its irrigation scheme for the benefit of stage two irrigators. The request has come following a recently commissioned report which showed the economic and social benefits of irrigation in the Waitaki district. The report showed there has been a $48m increase in gross domestic product to the local economy and the creation of 274 jobs since the scheme was established in late 2006. In addition, the report showed there are more families and a younger demographic in the survey area compared to other areas in Waitaki. Under the NOIC’s request, the term, amount and a number of the conditions of its current loan would be changed. Key changes would see quarterly interest payments to be made starting on January 1, 2015 through to June 30, 2022, an extension of the loan repayment date to June 30, 2022 and the increase of the loan amount by $9.5m. Another change would see the variation of other terms that are no longer applicable or need to be strengthened for council security. ‘‘It’s clear from the study and the work being done by the NOIC that investment in irrigation is stimulating economic growth and protecting the farming community from the affects of drought,’’ says council chief financial officer Paul Hope. ‘‘The choice for council is whether it wishes to further invest in the development of the scheme.’’ NOIC chief executive Robyn Wells said the access to water has significantly benefited Waitaki over the last eight years. ‘‘We believe stage two of the scheme is consistent with the original goals agreed by the Waitaki District Council and NOIC. ‘‘We are confident that an extension of council’s current loan will allow a higher uptake to the scheme and bring further, long term sustained benefits to the community.’’ For stage two of its scheme, NOIC has resource consent to take a further 4 cumecs of water to irrigate a minimum of 10,000 hectares in addition to the 14,000 hectares already being irrigated. NEWS Friendly Bay targeted M By DANIEL BIRCHFIELD firstname.lastname@example.org inor damage to a grassed area at Friendly Bay as a result of a car doing a burnout has frustrated Waitaki District Council staff. The act appears to have been committed early last week, in an area next to the Friendly Bay tearoom development which vehicles can easily access. Waitaki District Council recreation manager Erik van der Spek says Friendly Bay isn’t an area usually targeted by people doing burnouts. ‘‘I’m not aware of any cases going on down there, but we do get some at our other parks from time to time. It’s mostly on our sports fields at Awamoa Park and the Weston Domain area.’’ He says in extreme cases of vandalism, council would consider erecting bollards to prevent vehicle access, however it was reluctant to do so because of the impression it gives. Vandals: Damage to a grassed area at Friendly Bay. ‘‘I guess our options are restricted entry by surrounding the area with bollards, but we don’t like to do that because of the cost and we want these areas open to the public.’’ Van der Spek says in the summer months it’s easier to sew new grass seed to repair damage reasonably quickly. Over winter months it wasn’t quite so easy to fix damaged grass areas. Those responsible for doing burnouts on council property in the past have rarely been caught. However council does its best to find the culprits. ‘‘Every time we get graffiti or vandalism it always gets reported to the police. ‘‘If police do capture the culprits there is a restorative justice process we can go through where we work with the police,’’ van der Spek says. Court opening is tomorrow By DANIEL BIRCHFIELD email@example.com After several weeks of delays, Oamaru’s new court facility will be officially opened tomorrow. The facility, to be known as the Oamaru Hearing Centre, was scheduled to be opened in late June. However, that was delayed due to poor weather which hampered progress. There was a further delay recently following IT system installation issues at the Humber St site, in the car park area behind the Brydone Hotel. Construction work at the site started in May. A spokesperson for Courts Minister Chester Borrows says several representatives, including Borrows, will attend the opening which will take place at noon tomorrow. ‘‘Minister Borrows looks for- ward to attending to mark this important step forward for court services in Oamaru, along with representatives from the Ministry of Justice, Date set: Oamaru’s new court facility will be officially opened tomorrow. judiciary, local bar and wider Oamaru Community,’’ the spokesperson said. Waitaki MP Jacqui Dean will also attend the opening. Oamaru’s new court facility is made up of three prefabricated buildings which were used as a temporary court facility in Christchurch following February 2011 earthquake. A public waiting area, as well as areas for judges and staff, have been designed specifically for use in Oamaru. Oamaru District Court hearings have been being held at the Oamaru Opera House. Oamaru’s original court- house on Thames St, built in 1883, has been closed since late 2012 because of earthquake risks.
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