At its meeting next week, Buller District Council’s Finance, Risk, and Audit Committee will consider a report that recommends establishing a credit line of $7m as bridging finance to progress the urgent repairing of infrastructure that has been damaged by flooding.
The report prepared by staff estimates works to repair damage caused during the flood event in July 2021, and last February, will cost at least around $20m.
Council has a positive and collaborative relationship with government agencies and the parties are working to pull a business case together to secure funding to enable these repairs to be completed.
Council’s chief executive officer Sharon Mason says processes to secure and unlock potential funding will take time and it is important that council is a good corporate citizen and able to pay creditors for work undertaken to date in the meantime.
“A number of contractors completing the repair work are local businesses and in these challenging fiscal times it is important to ensure bills are paid.
“For the benefit of the community, we need to undertake the urgent repair works and also want to be in the best position to progress the massive overall repair project as quickly as possible once funding sources are confirmed.
“It makes sense to open up a line of credit which will enable urgent works to start while discussions with the government and its representatives continue. And to bridge the gap between expenses being incurred and reimbursement being received from our partner agencies.”
Works required include dredging debris washed into the Buller River during the flood events; and repairing wharves, water infrastructure, and roads.
Council appreciates the high level of support from central government agencies. The work, and discussions completed to date are a great example of central and local government working in partnership.
Source: Buller District Council
Chief Executive Officer