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Capital Expenditure

Capital expenditure ($1.760m) on the three waters (waste, storm and potable) to 30 October (four months) is running at 33.5% of budget (and 9.33% of the annual budget). Even allowing for delays over winter, this is historically very slow progress on the capital program, and has the effect of slowing down debt funding to the point where commitment is running 12% inside Council's self imposed borrowing limits.

Unused bank facilities are holding at $28.3m, but new councillors should not get their hopes up of being able to keep campaign promises from this source, particularly in Whitianga and Thames. There is not  $28.3m out there to play with - there is still $17m to go on the three waters alone, let alone any of the other commitments that Council has.

The figures as presented are curious to say the least, and possibly indicate a degree of timidity in the commitment to the works program. Account presentation improvement achieved over the last two years are to be applauded, but there remains far too little explanation of such a substantial shortfall.

Councillors should be demanding an explanation at the first opportunity.


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