Feedback sought on loan
Northland Regional Council is seeking feedback on a proposal to provide Northland Emergency Services Trust with a $9.8 million loan, to help fund two rescue helicopters for the region.
With its current helicopters needing to be replaced soon, NEST has found two suitable available for purchase.
Council chairman Bill Shepherd says the regional council is fortunate to have access to better interest rates (through the Local Government Funding Agency) than NEST could get elsewhere.
Under the proposal, the council would use a portion of this lowinterest borrowing capacity to give NEST a $9.8 million loan for the two rescue helicopters, saving NEST around $200,000 a year in interest over the five-year period of the loan.
While it would tie-up about half of council’s current lowinterest borrowing capacity, the proposed loan would have no impact on people’s rates.
The regional council has supported the rescue helicopter service for the past eight years through a targeted rate, and currently provides NEST with $525,000 per year from its contestable fund for emergency services.
‘‘This loan would be an additional way we can support NEST and the provision of emergency air rescue services in Northland,’’ Shepherd says.
Visit nrc.govt.nz/ helicopterloan
The Northland Regional Council is seeking feedback on a proposed rescue helicopter loan.