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Councillors assured expenditure scheduled this year will happen

Most of the remaining projects in the 2017/18 financial year will be spent, Gisborne District Council’s finance and audit committee was told.

Pat Seymour had asked whether the remaining projects on a schedule presented to councillors would be spent between now and when the financial year ended in June.

Given the fact that the council had to lift its debt cap because of a carryover from previous years, she wondered if the council would be able to spend the remaining $13 million scheduled on council projects.

She asked what the projects were that would justify the difference between $19 million to date and $31 million by year end.

Was the council confident that the remainder of the $31 million total budgeted for the year would be spent?

That included $10 million for roading. Would that be spent by the end of the financial year?

“The number of potholes we have got on our road would indicate there is nothing like that kind of money going on roads,” she said.

Lifelines director David Wilson said the money would be spent.

“You are looking at the major projects on the highway north. We have also just received the invoices for Gladstone Road, which is close to $1 million on its own.”

The spend had been happening and a huge amount of work had been carried out through the district.

“That was good to hear,” said committee chairman Brian Wilson.

“Are you confident that all the work that was planned for this financial year will be done?”

Mr Wilson said the revised programme and carry-forwards had been presented to the assets and infrastructure committee.

The major one that would not be completed this financial year was the Waingake pipeline restoration, because the ground water had been too high through summer and was now rising again — which was making the work too expensive to proceed.

They were looking to carry it over into next year.

The other was the Douglas Street water improvement.

Mrs Seymour said there was $2.66 million beside the Waipaoa Flood Control Scheme. That probably was not going to be spent.

Mr Wilson said they had already asked for the Waipaoa expenditure to be brought forward to next year.

Money had been spent on property purchase this year, however.

Mrs Seymour said the council would look again with interest when the actual money spent figure came back to them in June.