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Surplus up, debt down in Tasman District
September 24th, 2015
[TDC press release]
A sustained focus on prudent financial management by the Tasman District Council is paying off.
The council has achieved a larger-than-expected operating surplus and lower total debt than anticipated in the 2014/15 financial year.
The report released today shows the council's finances are in an even better position than forecast in its Annual Plan with an accounting surplus of $21 million, of which $5.8 million is directly related to operational performance, and total debt of $145 million, down on a projected $172m.
The better than forecasted result comes from a combination of operational savings and favourable external conditions, including higher than anticipated population growth and subsequent rates income, low inflation and interest rates, a revaluation of forestry assets, and a larger than budgeted dividend from Port Nelson.
Tasman Mayor Richard Kempthorne says the council is committed to maintaining the district's finances on a sound footing.
"It's a key focus for us. While achieving a bigger surplus is really pleasing, we will continue to concentrate on repaying debt where we can, rebuilding our emergency fund and keeping rate increases as low as possible."
The council has capped rates rises at 3 percent a year, with a small allowance for growth.
"We are constantly reviewing the delivery of our core services and facilities to find cost savings and efficiencies. The district's new recycling service is an example of this, which will reduce waste to landfill and costs to ratepayers. The replacement of nearly 2400 streetlight bulbs in the district with more energy-efficient LEDs is another example.
"It is not just about saving money, we also need to be efficient. One example is the improvement in building consent processing times, with 100 percent of consents processed within the statutory timeframes in the past two months."
Other achievements in the past year include:
- New water treatment plant built on Lower Queen St to meet drinking water standards and cater for increased water demand.
- Improved stormwater drainage in Richmond.
- Takaka wastewater treatment plan upgrade completed, including a floating wetland at the cutting edge of sewage treatment technology.
- Desludging of Motueka wastewater treatment plan as part of larger upgrade programme.
- Opening the Bogie Creek Bridge in Ngatimoti, allowing HDMV (heavy) trucks to use the Motueka Valley Highway.
- Stage two of Tasman's Great Taste Trail, to Kaiteriteri, completed.
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