$4.6m of cycle trail still not paid for
The Around the Mountains Cycle Trail has so far incurred costs of $10.4 million, but $4.6 million has not been paid for, a Southland District Council report says.
Councillors considered the options for funding the outstanding $4.6m at a meeting of the Around the Mountains Cycle Trail Project subcommittee yesterday.
Options are to pay the money from rates with a 30-year loan; pay the money from council reserves, or a combination reserves.
The preferred option in the report to the subcommittee members was for the money to be paid by way of loan over 30 years.
The recommendation, which was agreed on, was for the funding decision to go out for public consultation as part of the council’s 2018-28 long-term plan in March.
Before the matter is put out in the long term plan, the full council is expected to agree to that way forward.
The council has previously put of loan and off deciding how it would fund the outstanding $4.6m until an Environment Court decision it was involved in had been reached.
The Environment Court decision resulted in the proposed route up the Oreti River valley no longer being a viable option.
The council has yet to decide how and whether it will complete the trail and what the extra costs may be.
No decisions will be made until a business case with costings has been finalised.
The original estimated cost of the trail, from Kingston to Walter Peak, was $8m, with some ratepayers having expressed concerns at the cost over-runs and how it would affect their rates.
However, others have supported the construction of the trail on the basis it provides recreational opportunities for residents and visitors, and business opportunities for those located near the trail.
Others have expressed concerns over the lack of detail in regards to funding and ongoing maintenance.