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Operating surplus maintained during second quarter

Operating surplus maintained during second quarter

Palmerston North City Council’s operating budget surplus has continued through the second quarter of the financial year with a recorded improved operating position of $3.2m for the six months to 31 December 2013.

Chief executive officer Paddy Clifford says the variance has occurred due to delays, many of which are outside Council’s control.

“We’ve also experienced relatively benign weather which means related maintenance costs have been lower than normal,” he says.

Paddy Clifford says the reduction in Failure to Activate the Meter parking fine from $40 to $12 has been well received by residents. “While the full effects of the change won’t be known until later in the year, it is likely most of the reduction, in this financial year, will be absorbed by Council.”
“While I’m pleased with the result to date I am conscious the variance will reduce over the remainder of the year.”

Chief financial officer Grant Elliott says from a financial perspective the first half of the financial year has been good for Council. He says the variance has been achieved in part by the reduced call for some expenditure, particularly maintenance related and professional service, against the amounts budgeted.

“However,” he says, “the variance will reduce as the delayed wastewater desludging project is now underway and unallocated grants are now being allocated and paid.”

Grant Elliott says Council staff are aware of the need to continue focussing on restricting spending and looking for the most economical way to deliver services to ratepayers.

Financial accountant Keith Allan told Councillors at today’s Finance and Performance Committee meeting that Capital Expenditure programmes valued at $9 million have been incurred against a year-to-date budget of $14.3 million. The overall capital programme budget for the year is $38 million.

“Commencement of some capital projects that have been delayed will still be incurred this financial year however some, such as the interim interregional bus terminal and Papaioea social housing projects, are now likely to partly occur in the following financial year.”

Copies of the Financial Report can be found in the Finance and Performance Committee Agenda at pncc.govt.nz.


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