DCC deficit $2m lower than budget

Revenue is above budget for the first half of the Dunedin City Council’s financial year, but so are expenses and debt.

The upshot for the operating result — once the performance of the Waipori Fund is taken into account — is about a $2 million improvement on the $27.9m deficit that had been budgeted.

However, short-term borrowings had an unfavourable variance of $14.7m, pushing total debt to almost $547.5m at the end of last year.

Roading funding pushed up grants revenue, which was favourable by almost $6m, reflecting a higher level of subsidised maintenance and capital delivery, a report for the council said.

That was the lion’s share of revenue being about $8m greater than budget.

Expenditure was about $6.4m greater than budget.

"Operational expenditure was greater than expected due to additional transport and Three Waters maintenance expenditure and costs to meet consent conditions for landfills," the report said.

Three Waters was largely responsible for the deficit, although this was budgeted.

The budgeted deficit for Three Waters was about $16.8m and it had turned out to be just above $16.5m.

Three Waters maintenance expenditure was unfavourable by about $1.5m, "reflecting increased maintenance on reticulation and plant assets across the networks, partly due to legislative changes around water standards".

Total capital expenditure at $99.4m was slightly above where it was budgeted to be. Transport capital expenditure was overspent by more than $8.8m.

The Green Island landfill received higher than expected volumes of waste and this pushed up revenue.

However, consultant costs relating to updating a bird management plan and baseline monitoring as part of Smooth Hill landfill consent conditions had an unfavourable variance of $807,000.

The work to be done before building the proposed landfill includes gathering data about birds and nesting sites.

Volatility in world markets continued to affect the performance of the Waipori Fund.

However, it had been budgeted to have a surplus of almost $1.7m and its actual result was $2.1m.

Equities across all markets continued to increase in value in December.