Dunedin Mayor Dave Cull has set the scene for city
councillors as they begin debating what to spend ratepayers'
money on, and what not to, in the 2014-15 financial year.
He began the four-day discussions yesterday by outlining that
several extra requests for funding had arisen since council
staff were asked to produce a draft budget for the year.
Those, together with various requests made for funding last
week, threatened the council's intended rates rise cap of 3%.
The council has $647,000 it can spend without going over its
self-imposed 3% rates rise cap.
The money has come from a combination of general savings and
savings made in the carry forward process, including money
saved in the Ocean Beach holding pattern work, footpath
resurfacing and pavement rehabilitation this financial year.
However, the amount is only half of all the extra demands for
funding that have surfaced since the draft budget, a council
list showing requests for a total of $1.21 million.
The figure includes the cost of investing whether to take
over governance of public transport, upgrading lighting at
the civic centre, installing a new weighbridge at the Green
Island landfill, and monitoring the St Clair sea wall.
It also includes more than $630,000 support requested in
submissions from community and cultural organisations.
Mr Cull said it was very difficult for councillors to get an
immediate clear picture of what exactly all those pressures
would mean for the council's 3% target, but staff would
provide a running tally of the affect councillors' decisions
were having on it, Mr Cull said.
''What we can be pretty sure of is that there will be some
hard decisions to make. Clearly there's not enough money to
satisfy all of the requests we have had before us last
In order to make the money stretch a bit further, he would
offer the remainder of his discretionary fund for this year,
along with the chief executive's discretionary fund, and some
unused funds from the governance budget, amounting to about
The council might use that money to satisfy some of the
smaller requests for funding, he said.