Conwy jetty plan approved despite doubling in cost
A new jetty in Conwy's historic harbour will be built, even though its original £210,000 cost has almost doubled.
Conwy council's cabinet approved plans by five votes to three to borrow money to cover the increase, and to raise harbour fees to help repay the loan.
The plans were passed in November 2010, when a budget of £210,000 was allocated to the project.
A survey discovered a layer of hard rock in the estuary which increased the estimated cost to £406,331.
In November last year, the jetty proposals left harbour users divided.
Some fishermen and yacht owners said they needed better access because the present jetty is silting up.
Others were concerned about the danger from fast currents at the end of a new jetty, and about disabled access.
Independent councillor Joan Vaughan, Conwy council's cabinet member for infrastructure, told Tuesday's meeting the new jetty was still essential, and urged the authority to approve the extra money required.
"The quay is a focal point for the tourist industry," she said.
"Boat users bring thousands of pounds into the economy of Conwy. There's a real risk of boat users leaving the area if they can't use the harbour."
Harbourmaster Tony Mead added: "The new facility will benefit all users, from fishing vessel to yachts and the pleasure boat trips.
"We can raise the money from fees to cover the cost of borrowing the extra money."
The meeting heard that the only alternative would be to dredge the existing jetty, which could cost around £15,000 a year.
But a number of cabinet members expressed concern at the increased cost.
Liberal Democrat Councillor Mike Priestley said: "We were told categorically in November 2010 that we will not overspend on this project.
"I would like to know how much fees will have to go up for boat users to cover this cost."
Councillor Meirion Hughes of Plaid Cymru said: "When we first approved this project there were concerns of unforeseen costs.
"The public will be aware that we are in tough financial times. We've seen the risk manifest itself once - we don't know what else is out there."