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GDC in black by $3.7m

Extra revenue from roading projects has given Gisborne District Council a higher surplus than projected for the financial year ending on June 30, says chief financial officer Pauline Foreman.

Most of the variances with the annual plan were due to the roading emergency programme and the Provincial Growth Fund operational works programme, she told the council while presenting the draft financial report for the year.

The net surplus was ahead of the annual plan by $3.7 million.

Total revenue was favourable by $15.2m over the plan due to the income received from the PGF for the roading renewal programme and higher subsidies from the New Zealand Transport Agency for emergency roading work.

Year-to-date total expenditure was unfavourably over the annual plan by $11.5m due to higher-than-planned costs for the roading emergency works programme and PGF operating costs.

Costs as a result of the June 2018 flood events had been assessed at $26m.

The council had managed to secure 100 percent funding to restore the roading network. Emergency works were usually between $2m and $3m in a normal year.

To do $13.2m above normal business as usual was about 24 percent above what they had done before and was at no impact to the ratepayer.

“It was quite a considerable feat,” Ms Foreman said.

The higher roading costs were partially offset by the lower-than-planned finance and employee costs.

The capital expenditure for the year was $42.8m, 96 percent of the annual plan. This included $10.2m worth of work related to PGF roading projects.

Ms Foreman said the councillors should realise that the surplus was mostly from capital grants. That surplus would go towards spending on capital projects.

The draft financial returns sought more external funds for community projects such as the Navigations project and inner harbour redevelopment.

Rates represented 50 percent of the total revenue collected. That meant the council was less dependent on rates and able to do more using external funds.

Auditors were due on site and it would be three weeks before the annual report process was finished and final results confirmed.

Finance committee chairman Brian Wilson said the council had a good result for the year but there were a couple of areas where they had not done as well as they should — stormwater and wastewater.

“Overall it has been a great performance with a lot more capital work done than usual,” he said.

Rehette Stoltz said in the past the council had not fully completed its capital works programme. This year it had and in the future she wanted to stick to the 95 percent figure.

Larry Foster said to achieve 96 percent of capital works was a fantastic result. It was a hard act to follow and would be a challenge for the coming year.

Shannon Dowsing noted the $10m unbudgeted capital works on top of the regular programme. It was still important to make sure the existing works programme was on track.

Gisborne City Ward candidates are competing for nine seats on the District Council. File picture