Future Mangawhai homeowners will now have only two years to spread the costs of sewerage connections instead of a 25-year option previously available.
The 25-year option is having an adverse effect on cashflow for the Mangawhai Community Wastewater Scheme and is likely to create additional costs to ratepayers, the Kaipara District Council says.
The crackdown on payment options comes at the same time as a potential $2.483 million cashflow shortfall has been predicted, because of the current financial climate.
The shortfall has precipitated the need for the KDC to establish a credit facility for $2.5 million  over the next two years until  2014, when the current low-cost loan is due for repayment.
The total cost of the project, including operating costs, was $65.9 million at the end of June.
 Revenues for the same period are $64.3 million, giving a shortfall of $1.6 million.
At its June meeting, KDC decided to withdraw the 25-year targeted rate payment option as of June 2011. The future $7909 payment will instead be levied over a two-year period of 12 instalments, or can be paid as a one off payment of $7052.
Finance manager Mike Fleming said the 25-year option was creating a number of additional problems for the council, including the ability to keep track of records over a 25-year period.
"We are not a bank and don't have the systems to cope with this  - it's hugely complicated."
He said the option ended up costing the ratepayer $16,515.
The council had initially been asked to consider dropping the option at the end of last month, but that prompted some hot discussion, in particular from the Eastern Ward councillors  - Tom Smith  believed a change at the 11th hour could be stressful to those about to build, while  Julia Sutherland saw the deal changing as a travesty.
Fearing some homebuilders could be  stretched beyond their borrowing power, Cr  Sutherland said: "This could impact on the ability for some families to meet their new commitment."
Councillor Brian Burnett also saw the council's welshing at such short notice as unfair. He warned there could be a backlash from those who felt they had had the rug pulled from under them.
Councillor Bill Guest's suggestion to extend the payment to five years gained some favour, but a transition period was eventually decided upon. Chief executive Jack McKerchar agreed the "cut-off" period could be extended to June 2011 and the council then agreed to the two-year payment option, with the understanding appropriate information would be circulated to the community.
The council also agreed to amend the Mangawhai Wastewater Drainage District to ensure all properties connected, or proposed to be, were included in the drainage district.