Council to decide on maintenance fund use

The Dunedin City Council will decide today whether to dip into cash from a building maintenance fund to pay for environmental and food resilience initiatives.

A report to be considered at today's full council meeting has recommended using cash from the council's investment account to fund the initiatives.

The account included $280,000 for deferred maintenance on council buildings, the report by council strategy and governance manager Sandy Graham said.

The spending had been deferred while the council completed work on asset management plans for buildings it owned, she said.

The council's long-term plan (LTP) process - beginning later this year - would include a "bottom-up review'' of maintenance requirements.

In the meantime, the money was available "for some additional maintenance if required'', she said.

However, the report to be considered by councillors recommended using $200,000 from the fund to pay for the council's environmental and food resilience initiatives.

The Te Ao Turoa environment strategy would receive $150,000, while food resilience received a further $50,000, for the 2017-18 year.

Approving the recommended option would leave $80,000 in the fund, but interest savings from lower-than-forecast debt levels could be used to replenish the fund, the report said.

Long-term funding for the food resilience and environmental initiatives would then be considered during next year's LTP process.

The decision to use already available money would avoid the need to consult the public over funding changes for the twin initiatives.

It meant the council's consultation plans could focus on next year's long-term plan, the report said.

Councillors at today's meeting would also decide which approach to community consultation would be taken for the 2017-18 annual plan process.


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