Annual report to be presented to district council today

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A final, audited annual report is going to be presented to the Waitaki District Council for adoption today.

The report compares the actual activities and performance of council during the year ended June 2014 against intended activities and performance as set out in the annual plan and the Long Term Plan.

Chief financial officer Paul Hope indicates in his report that the final operating surplus of $3,794,000, which was significantly higher than a July estimate of $2,311,000, “was primarily the result of the recognition of vested assets, particularly the Alps2Ocean Cycle Trail”.

“As noted in the annual report, this result was significantly better than the budgeted operating deficit of $290,000. The reasons for this improvement are outlined in the report. It reflects in part the continuing impact of the change made last year in the waters depreciation cost, the cumulative effect of various increases in revenue and cost reductions, and the significant value of vested assets.

“The non-financial performance indicators show that those cost savings were made while still delivering the agreed levels of service,” Mr Hope said.

Council chief executive Michael Ross said adopting the annual report was a significant item on today’s agenda and reiterated that the final reported surplus was neither a case of council over-rating or a cash surplus, but instead reflected that council was “given” or vested over $2.8 million in new assets to look after.

“The value of the new assets does, however, reflect a positive economic environment as these are mainly new roads and other assets needed to service new properties, as well as a share of the Alps2Ocean cycle trail funded by the Government,” Mr Ross said.

Mr Ross said the council’s balance sheet showed a sound financial position and taking aside vested assets and the disposal of assets, council achieved an operating surplus of about $1.9 million.

A summary of the annual report will be available publicly within one month of its adoption.

By LINDA MCCARTHY