Selwyn records healthy surplus
The Selwyn District Council will record a healthy surplus this year thanks to hefty investment in the area.
The council had originally predicted a multimillion-dollar deficit but bigger than expected revenue from development contributions, building consent applications and other investment in the area meant the council had the luxury of being able to start thinking about bigger and bolder projects into the future, chief executive David Ward said.
The council's six-month financial report to December 31 showed it reported a $2.56m surplus instead of the $5.61m loss it expected. Ward was "conservatively" predicting it would achieve a $2 million to $3m surplus at the end of the financial year in June.
Development contributions were $6.88m higher than predicted; building consent fees were about $575,000 higher.
By the end of the financial year, the council also expected $35m in sales at its Izone business park, most of which would come from a lucrative deal with the Port of Tauranga for an inland port.
Ward said because development numbers were "way ahead of the game" the council was looking at possibly fast-tracking some projects. There would be some "very interesting" discussions when the council started mapping its 2015-2025 long-term plan.
The council's strong position was "reflective of the growth in both the residential and the commercial areas".
"Our finances are extremely sound . . . this council is in the unique position and it's the envy of a lot of councils at the moment."
Because actual returns had exceeded expectations, the council could fast-track investment in infrastructure, keep maintenance work up to date and there was less pressure to borrow.
The council had previously forecast a 6 per cent rates rise.
Selwyn in figures
$2.56m - Net surplus for the six months ending December 31.
$7.49m - The amount total revenue is over budget.
2300plus - The number of building consents issued in 2013.
$35m - The volume of sales expected to be completed at Izone business park in the 2013-14 year.
Source: Selwyn District Council