Vesting of lakes good for budget

AL WILLIAMS
Last updated 05:00 21/11/2012
aviemore dam
JOHN BISSET/ Fairfax NZ

AERIAL VIEW: The Aviemore dam and camping area.

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The vesting of Waitaki lakes has led to a $468,000 surplus for the Waimate District Council in the last financial year against what was a budgeted deficit of $2.32 million.

The council's annual report revealed the total operating expenditure was $13.01m.

Also included in the budgeted deficit was a provision for the community centre of $2.5m that did not eventuate during the year.

It also noted that included in the surplus was the recognition of the vesting of the camping grounds and carbon credits to a value of $1.68m.

The Waitaki lakes camping areas were previously under the ownership of the Conservation Department (DOC), but through a lease arrangement are now managed by Waimate.

The process of vesting passes full control of the area to the council in such a way that it is now recognised as the owner.

The areas which the council controls remain the same and include Waitangi, Fishermans Bend, Te Aka and Briars Gully.

Property manager Sue Kelly said it meant the assets now had to be recognised by the council for accounting purposes and that was where the $1.6m was recognised through the value of the land and improvements, and recorded in the first instance as income to the council.

She said campers would not notice any changes following the completion of the vesting process. Waimate would continue to operate the camping areas in the same way.

Chief executive Tony Alden said Land Information New Zealand (Linz) was handing over land for councils to own and manage.

"The same is happening in Waitaki; it's of no use to Linz because they can't sell the land.

"They don't get any income from it; for all intents and purposes it doesn't make any difference.

"There's no difference from what we do now; as far as the Waimate community is concerned there will be no changes."

Mr Alden said there would be some maintenance costs over time.

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- The Timaru Herald

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