South Taranaki has $2m surplus


South Taranaki District Council has ended the 2015/16 financial year with a $2 million operating surplus.

The council adopted its annual report on Monday and chief executive Craig Stevenson said he was pleased with the organisation's strong financial performance, despite unbudgeted costs as a result of floods in June and August last year.

"The 2015 floods caused extensive damage to council's roading infrastructure and left a $1.5 million shortfall, which was funded from council's roading reserves," said Mr Stevenson.

The council's long-term investment fund returned $7.55 million, down slightly against a budgeted return of $8.6 million.

Mr Stevenson said that was a result of the international markets' response to Britain's Brexit vote, which took place just days before the end of the financial year.

He said the council withdrew $5.6 million every year from the fund, which provided $3.87 million to subsidise general rates and a further $1.73 million to service loans for specific community projects.

In this way, the fund had returned about $90 million to the South Taranaki community since it was set up in 1997, he said.

"All revenue over and above the annual drawdown of $5.6 million is returned to the fund to build it up for those years when it doesn't perform so well."

Achievements during the year included the introduction of a regional waste management contract with EnviroWaste, which saw more than 16,000 new wheelie bins distributed across the district.

Meanwhile, work began on earthquake strengthening at-risk public buildings, the Rakaupiko overbridge in Patea was replaced, and the council adopted a bylaw to manage freedom camping in the district.

- Wanganui Chronicle

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