Council Finances in Good Shape

Council Finances in Good Shape

Thursday, October 11, 2018

The South Taranaki District Council finished the 2017/18 financial year with a healthy $8 million surplus against a budgeted surplus of $1.6 million, according to its Annual Report, which was adopted at a recent Special Council meeting.

Council Chief Executive Waid Crockett says the surplus was largely due to the Council’s Long Term Investment Fund (LTIF) which performed strongly over the year.

“Thanks to strong market conditions the LTIF did very well and returned $11.99 million which was $2.6 million more than we budgeted,” says Mr Crockett.

“After allowing for the annual drawdown and rates subsidy, at year end the Fund balance totalled $143.21 million (including $11.38 million of internal borrowings), up from $137.43 million in 2016/17,” he says.

Total debt also increased from $123.75 million to $128.18 million.

Mr Crockett says each year the Council’s draws $5.8 million from the LTIF which provides $3.87 million to subsidise general rates and a further $1.93 million to serviceloans for specific community projects.

“In this way the LITF has returned almost $100 million back to the South Taranaki Community since it was started in 1997,” he says.

“All revenue over and above the annual drawdown of $5.8 million is returned to the Fund to build it up for those years when it doesn’t perform so well.”

The Report also highlighted the steady progress made with two of Council’s key priorities; the Hāwera Town Centre Strategy and the District Pathways Programme.

“The second Hāwera Town Centre project started with the demolition of the old butcher shop in High Street to make way for Korimako Lane; a new laneway connection to the Napier Street carpark. Good progress was also made on planning the new Centre for Heritage, Arts, Library, Culture and Information,” say Mr Crockett.

Two new pathways were completed, one linking Denby Road to Fairfield Road and the Manawapou Viaduct Walkway, which follows the old Ingahape Road from the State Highway at the bottom of Manawapou Hill, was also opened.

Other notable achievements during the year included:

  • 90 km of roads were resealed and 1.5 km of footpaths replaced
  • The Normanby roadside rest area was completed and opened
  • Bridge 160 on Eltham Road was replaced for $500,000
  • An electric vehicle charging station was built in Ōpūnake (Napier Street)
  • $2 million in upgrades were undertaken at the Inaha Water Treatment Plant and the Inaha water supply was connected by pipeline to the Kapuni water supply
  • All Council cemeteries were digitally mapped
  • South Taranaki opened its Sporting Hall of Fame at TSB Hub with James Hunter (rugby), Roger Cox (shearing) and Adine Wilson (netball) being the first inductees
  • The Hāwera Aquatic Centre had 98,528 visitors, their second busiest year since its upgrade was completed in 2009
  • Earthquake structural assessments have been completed for all major Council facilities with the rest to be completed over the next three years.
  • The Tapuae Roa – Make Way for Taranaki Regional Economic Development Strategy was launched