Council takes pride in $457,900 surplus

A budget surplus of more than $450,000 is proof a small council could hold its own during tough financial times, Stratford mayor Neil Volzke says.

The Stratford District Council's 2011-12 annual report shows its total spend was $14.2 million, which included $4.3 million of capital works projects.

Total income was $14.7m, leaving an operating surplus of $457,900.

The annual report, tabled last night, provides an overview of the council's activities over the last financial year.

Speaking at the full council meeting, Mr Volzke said the small surplus coupled with retiring almost all of their debt was an "outstanding" success.

"It shows a very good budgeting process.

"It also makes a mockery of the Government's assertion that all councils in New Zealand are debt-ridden cot-cases that need to be reined in."

In the report, chief executive Sue Davidson said the surplus was the result of belt-tightening at all levels, including corporate and governance.

"Council has always been mindful of costs, however, each year there are always emergency roading works due to storms that increase our costs."

This year's storm bill totalled $520,000.

She said the council continued to reduce the amount of solid waste sent to the landfill more refuse was being recycled.

At the same meeting, Audit New Zealand's Clint Ramoo told the council it had worked effectively and efficiently during the last year. He said it still had work to do around asset management plans.

Taranaki Daily News