Council spending near budget

Getting through planned capital expenditure has sometimes been a struggle for the Dunedin City Council, but not this year.

Year-to-date spending for 2021-22 has been tracking close to budget and is already close to the previous financial year’s full-year programme of $110.9million.

Capital expenditure for the 2021-22 year ending in June was up to a provisional $110million at the end of April, chief financial officer Gavin Logie said at a meeting last week.

The council has planned for $145.5million of capital spending for the full year.

Although spending is behind in some areas, such as parks and recreation, that is not the case in Three Waters, which is well ahead of budget.

Finance and council-controlled organisations committee chairman Mike Lord said the level of capital spending so far was an outstanding result.

A lot of work had gone into studying systems in recent years and planning more holistically, he said.

More planned maintenance was getting carried out and less repair work was needed in response to breakages, he said.

Cr Rachel Elder said the council’s management of projects and contracts had yielded positive results.

Cr Chris Staynes said work that had been scheduled was getting done.

Council chief executive Sandy Graham signalled after she accepted the role from October 2020 that delivery of planned capital spending would be high on her agenda.

During the job interview process, she used a 10-year plan consultation document as a prop, noting what had and had not been achieved, Ms Graham said in a January 2021 media interview.

The council adopted an ambitious programme of planned capital spending when it passed its 2021-31 long-term plan last year.

Parks and recreation had an underspend of more than $6.1million in the nine months to March, primarily because of delayed timing of the Mosgiel Pool development.

Construction of the new pool has been proceeding since about November last year.

It is expected to open in mid-2023.

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