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A report issued to the Waitaki District Council finance, audit and risk committee, which will meet today, said at the halfway point of the financial year the council had a surplus of $629,000, compared with an ''expected surplus'' of just $7000.
Council chief financial officer Paul Hope said the major difference to the expected budget came from a $250,000 bequest from the P. Mulligan Estate, which could be spent on the Oamaru Public Gardens and the Waitaki Heritage Fund.
''That will just be used as suitable projects come up.''
He said the council had also received extra revenue from user charges related to water and sewer and landfill, which had ''all been positive''.
''This position is the result of both improved revenue and reduced costs. It is also a mix of timing and permanent difference but overall does indicate a potentially positive position at the end of the year.''
The council now had ''a strong cash position'', and was in a ''very strong position to take on the second half of the year''.