Covid hits council’s deficit

The impact of Covid-19 has accelerated the Waitaki District Council’s deficit.

It recorded a $3.62million deficit in the latest financial year, the 2019-20 pre-audit draft annual report, tabled at the performance, risk and audit committee meeting yesterday, showed.

Covid-19 affected $1.20million income with disruptions to roading subsidies, regulatory charges and parking and camping revenue and the closure of establishments during lockdown.

Other contributions included adjustment of asset values of $2.32million, the rejection of $700,000 of Provincial Growth Fund funding and net items totalling $1.07million.

Finance and corporate development group manager Paul Hope said while it was a challenging year, the council was still in a "sound position".

The council had a "large asset base" and changes to that had had an impact.

"We are seeing the impact of the ongoing re-evaluation exercises that we undertake with the assets ... That’s why we have and will continue to have a reasonable write-down of assets each year as those items get replaced.

"The size of that change shouldn’t really be viewed in terms of its impact on the income statement. It more needs to be viewed in terms of the size of the re-evaluation we see each year and the large asset class.

"We have moved $40million in property and even greater in roading — we are a very asset-heavy organisation.

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