Council anticipates $5.07 million surplus

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A first draft of the Waitaki District Council’s financial report for the 2015-16 financial year shows an “anticipated” before-tax surplus of $5.07 million, according to a report tabled at Wednesday’s meeting of the council’s finance, audit and risk committee.
Council chief financial officer Paul Hope stressed the figure was not a final result, and that it would change as adjustments, primarily in the asset area, were made.
That result is then required to be audited, which he said “usually generates some level of adjustment”.
According to the report, total council revenue as at June 30 stood at $48.316 million, while total expenses were $43.244 million.
Last year, the council recorded a surplus of $2.992 million.
Mr Hope said over the past few months, the council had worked to identify what had driven the surplus.
“The analysis has shown that much of the variance had been driven by one-off variances that won’t be repeated in the coming year. However, there were still a large number of smaller improvements that have made a positive impact on the result and rates required for the coming year.
“It also needs to be understood council did not complete everything that was planned and budgeted for and this has created some variances. Some of this is due to timing of anticipated projects, many of which will now be deferred until the next financial year.”
He said a report on proposed “carry forward” items would be presented to councillors at a future meeting.
Additional revenue received by the council include $614,000 in user charges from the Oamaru landfill, a $385,000 grant for Alps 2 Ocean funding, a $442,000 dividend from council-owned company Whitestone Contracting Ltd, $364,000 in forestry sales and $335,000 in other areas.
The council saved $278,000
in personnel costs, while depreciation was lower than budgeted for by $646,000.
Savings in other areas, such as contracts and consultancy, were $1.571 million.
Mr Hope said the council’s activities, in terms of day-to-day operations, “mostly matched expectations”.
“In many instances this has been achieved at less cost or has generated more revenue.”