Council operating surplus of $1.67m

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The Waitaki District Council’s books are in solid shape after another encouraging quarterly financial report.
Chief financial officer Paul Hope presented the report for the second quarter of the 2015-16 financial year at a meeting of the council’s finance, audit and risk committee on Wednesday.
He said the council completed the first half of the financial year “strongly”.
The report shows the council posted a before-tax operating surplus of $1.67 million, against a budgeted deficit for the same period of $443,000.
Overall, revenue was over budget by $628,000, which Mr Hope attributed to improved New Zealand Transport Agency (NZTA) subsidies, a larger-than-budgeted dividend from council-owned Whitestone Contracting Ltd ($272,000), increased revenue from the Oamaru landfill, and unbudgeted grants for the construction of the Alps2Ocean cycle trial.
In total, $479,000 in grants were received by the council for the cycle trail, with $250,000 of that from the NZTA.
Council revenue for the six months to December 31 was $23.32 million.
Rates revenue accounted for $12,020 of that figure, while targeted rates ($3.01 million), Government grants and subsidies ($3.49 million) and user charges ($2.6 million) were the other major contributors.
Total council expenditure was $21.65 million, well down on the budgeted $23.1 million.
Mr Hope said that was due to lower-than-budgeted insurance premiums ($155,000 under budget) and contracted work being $815,000 under budget due to timing issues.
Services such as roading, were under budget by $298,000, as were debt collection costs, by $102,000.
“Budgets have been spread across the year to reflect the expected operating patterns but this timing may still change as managers become aware of delays or other issues,” Mr Hope said in his report.
“Key factors affecting the timing of budgeted expenditure and revenues are variations in work flows between winter and summer and the design and construction cycle of projects, particularly in the renewal and capital areas.”