Consistency is key for ongoing projects in new financial year
Despite the challenging year thanks to a global pandemic, it will be all systems go for Hurunui District Council’s planned projects for the next financial year.
The financial year has just wrapped up, and it was no surprise that there was a significant shortfall of profit on the Hanmer Springs Thermal Pools and Spa due to COVID-19 and its effects on visitor numbers.
Chief Financial Officer Jason Beck said having no business during Easter, the first school holiday and ANZAC Day was a huge cause for the $775,000 drop in profit.
The total surplus reaped from the Pools for the last financial year was $1.75 million, well down from the pre-COVID-19 forecasted surplus of $2.5 million.
“Even Queen’s Birthday weekend was muted. We were getting 800 visitors per day, compared to 2000 visitors per day which we would normally be seeing.”
The Council is pulling together its final figures for the 2019/2020 year. The first cut of the numbers show a $918,000 surplus which is down on the $1.5 million surplus that was budgeted for the year.
The reduced surplus from the Pools is partially offset by savings recorded which was partly due to fewer planned projects going ahead because of upsets like COVID-19 and the disruption in work flow it caused.
With regard to capital expenditure, of the forecasted $21 million for the 2019/2020 projects, at June end only $16 million had been spent, which leaves room for some projects to be moved forward into the 2020/21 year.
“An assessment will be done on those projects budgeted for to access what portion of the work will be approved to be carried forward.”
In respect to moving forward, the Council has budgeted to record a $2.5 million deficit for the financial year we are now entering. This deficit is largely due to a continuation of low profits from the Pools, as the effects COVID-19 will have an effect on District spending while our borders remain closed.
Greyburn bridge on Brodies Rd is being replaced this summer. Woodbank Rd bridge will get a new deck and hand rails, following the abutment replacement work occurring now on River Road which is 84% funded by NZTA.
Jason said ongoing projects have been accounted for already, whether that be from subsidies, rates, or debt.
“There have been overs and unders in general, but these funding avenues remain constant and it is just the timing of these projects that may change, they will still happen.”