Future black hole



COUNCILLOR David Featherstone says Coffs Harbour City Council is staring at a $2 million financial black hole following the rejection of its 22 per cent rates rise plan.

The council was told at its meeting on Thursday night that its deficit is predicted to rise above $1 million in the 2005/06 financial year if it does not take any action to reduce costs.

"If we don't do something now it could blow out to $2 million in a couple of years," Cr Featherstone said.

He called for the council to sell some of its property assets to help make up the shortfall, which has seen the ambitious $86.7 million City Facilities Program put on the back burner.

General manager Mark Ferguson will present plans to council on August 18 outlining ways to reduce the 2005/06 budget deficit closer to $500,000 and achieve balanced budgets in the following two years.



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