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Council books show surplus

The council settled the $3.6m purchase of Waiata House in early February. PHOTO/FILE

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Masterton District Council has a $630,628 surplus in the six months to December 31, 2018, which is well ahead of the $376,625 surplus it is expecting for the full year.

A report to the audit and risk committee detailing its revenue and spending said New Zealand Transport Agency subsidies have been more than expected due to higher levels of roading expenditure in the first half of the year, and financial contributions from subdivision developments are running at 130.7 per cent of plan.

The contributions from subdivisions are to future-fund services, so go to reserves and can’t be used to reduce rates.

People are also taking more things to the dump, which is attributed to the strong economy, as is the 19.6 per cent more than planned collected from parking meters and parking fines.

Solid waste volumes are 7 per cent ahead of plan and revenue from them is 9.2 per cent more than planned. But there have been higher costs as well, the report says.

The council underspent 2 per cent on personnel costs because it took time to fill some positions.

The surplus at the halfway point compared with a predicted $296,253 deficit, so the council was $926,881 ahead of where it thought it would be.

The council produces a rates requirement summary which details what comes in from rates and where it goes, and the net spending of rates funding at December 31 was $14.1m, which was 2.6 per cent less than budget.

That translates to a nearly $400,000 funding surplus at the halfway point of the financial year.

The council gets $4.9m a year from NZTA subsidies and $441,170 from petrol taxes and other income.

There is $450,000 in the capital expenditure budget for the Henley Lake intake upgrade, but the summary says there will be no spending this year as no decision has yet been made on a consent.

The summary says there will be a report to council in February on rural halls and there is $15,000 in the budget for spending on them.

The report also says there is a contract under way for asbestos investigations and options with $50,000 in the annual budget but only $20,000 is likely to be spent.

There is $300,000 set aside for work associated with the move to Waiata House, which is to be scoped.

The council settled the $3.6m purchase in early February after building remedial work by the vendor.

The controversial parklets seemed to have cost $56,262 in the six months to December 31, and notes says “concept stage two” will go to council in March or April followed by detailed design.

The accounts also say options for extending the space available to the Wairarapa Archive are being investigated.

The Library Learning Centre had spending of $162,005 in the year-to-date.

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