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Thursday
Aug142014

Snippets

There were some other interesting matters that are worthy of comment:

Capital Works: The CFO Steve Baker confirmed that even though capital works for the year had already been reduced from $22m to $16m due to cancellations and postponements, and further amazing, but unexplained efficiencies, they were still $2.5m under at balance date. That is a total of $8.5m, or 28% under budget before revision. 

Is it any wonder that Tony Fox had a major bleat about the failure of staff to keep Council fully informed about failure to meet projected targets. He demanded that all project management staff be held to account in this year should they fail to meet their targets, and ensure that Council was kept informed regarding the reasons for variations when they occur (or words to that effect!)

It is not before time that strictures were placed upon staff responsible - 2013/14 Capital Works stands out in the annals of Local Government accounting.

Funding of Coastal Erosion - Hammond indicated that talks were under way with WRC, and that staff were coming shortly for a joint examination of the damage., and formulation of a "joint approach." Not before time, and an indication of just how dependent we are on the relationship.

Hammond alluded to work going on in regard to the Long Term Plan regarding local funding issues - you can take that to read "working out how to break the news regarding 'District wide' funding of repairs" as proposed by Leach. The softening-up process continues.

Zoom Zone Indoor Sports - A couple of points here - Simon Stevens (Project Manager) reported on the progress with the fund-raising and revealed that the Fund-raising Manager position is paid for from the budget.

This is quite contrary to what I was told by Greg Hampton in an email dated 1 July - 

"Karen Murphy ( Fundraising Manager?), is a volunteer on the fundraising committee and not a TCDC or TOA appointment or position."

Then he indicated that pledges of $270K had been obtained towards the $450k combined budget - clearly some big ones have been landed, and with naming rights still to come with a prospect in sight - all good.

But on the other hand, the budget for the Skate Park is looking light-on with a preliminary estimate from a construction entity estimate of $650 psm or roughly 34% over budget - wow, some re-thinking needed there.

Then Simon revealed that there may be something else in the works in regard to Rhodes Park. I suspect that he was being coy about the possibility of moving to a possible new 'District' sports complex at the Racecourse. This was raised at the last meeting and I was asked to keep quiet about it in the meantime - until the Race Club members had been informed about the approach to Council. That was six weeks ago so there appears no reason to maintain silence on it.

Whangamata Sports Club - It seems that there was disquiet amongst a number of members regarding the proposed lease extension., but in the end, the request was granted in accordance with the staff recommendation which includes a three yearly rent review. The 30 year term was considered reasonable in view of the extensions that the Club had undertaken and the fact that it was "a valuable local amenity." And several around the table were concerned about adequate notice (at least three years) being given of any change in the lease rental - something that seems entirely superfluous to me, as I am sure would be the case with any commercial landlord.

The legal concerns that I raised in my earlier post were not raised, so I presume that the Council's legal advisor has okayed the proposal. Interesting - particularly the query regading Ministerial sign-off.

The Mayor requested that fully audited financials to be made available in the future prior to rental reviews - I don't know how that will go down. But Fox and others wants a complete review of all leases, and the policy to be undertaken without delay. Hammond seemed to give such an undertaking, but it was not clear. Board Chair Kelly wants a standard 6 year and 2 X 2 term (Auckland Law Society)  to become standard, and others wanted other combinations. All a bit of a mess really.

 

 

 

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Reader Comments (1)

Bill, the fund raising manager referred to is Steve Bramely of SGL Group who has been engaged for that purpose from project inception, so my comment regarding Karen Murphy remains correct.

September 3, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterGreg

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