Hod Hasharon's accumulated deficit has grown to more than NIS 31 million and it owes a massive NIS 183 million in loans, reports www.local.co.il. The growing deficit and debt, as well as the city's smaller-than-expected earnings for 2007, were being discussed by the city's finances committee last week. According to the report, the city's financial report for 2007 showed a running deficit of NIS 4.88 million and an accumulated deficit of NIS 31.6 million, a rise of NIS 5 million from the accumulated deficit of 2006. Loans grew to NIS 183 million from NIS 165 million the previous year, and earnings in 2007 were NIS 321,000 less than expected. A municipal spokesman said the growing deficit was the result of the city's huge investment in infrastructure last year, with major changes made to the drainage and sewerage systems. The spokesman said that this winter, for the first time ever, there had been none of the flooding that in previous years had caused so much hardship to residents. "We believe it is the city's duty to provide a quality of life suitable for the 21st century, even at the price of a rise in loans," the spokesman said. In response to the smaller earnings, he said it was "impossible to be exact in forecasts, and the sum is within the bounds of logic and normalcy."