INVERCARGILL city councillors were updated on the council’s financial position yesterday in light of annual plan preparation.
Preliminary figures showed Invercargill City Council (ICC) was operating in a surplus of $1.151 million (before tax) for the financial year ending June 30 – a better scenario than the deficit of $2.757 million it had budgeted on and a slight decrease from the $1.178 million in 2019.
A report by interim group manager finance Dave Foster was presented at council’s risk and assurance committee yesterday.
Rates revenue had increased by $2.241 million, while operating expenditure – including interest expenditure – decreased $2.321 million, to $98.827 million.
After the meeting, Mr Foster said he considered the results to be positive.
“I think given we had Covid there and given Covid had an impact, I think it was a good year… the bottom line is if you have a net surplus without tax better than the budget, it is a good year.”
Mr Foster also tabled a report of the sensitive expenditure from Mayor Sir Tim Shadbolt, councillors and chief executive Clare Hadley.
During the council meeting, chairman Bruce Robertson said it was usually “a matter of judgement”.
Under ICC policy, Sensitive Expenditure is spending by the council which could be seen to give some benefit to an elected member or employee, or could be considered unusual for the council.
From January 1 to June 30, 2020, ICC had spent $27,597.84 with expenses.
The majority was related to travel, conferences and meeting-related costs.
Councillors received an update of a treasury management report ahead of a treasury policy to be presented to council by the end of the year.
Mr Foster said the document outlined the management of council funding availability — including external borrowing, term deposits and management of bank balances.
He highlighted some ‘‘debt issues’’ which included whether council should separate its treasury operations for council and Invercargill City Holdings Limited (ICHL) — the investment company 100% owned by the council which owned Electricity Invercargill, Invercargill City Forests and 97.2% of Invercargill Airport.
Toni Biddle asked if uncalled capital within ICHL — which was stated as $100 million — would restrict council’s capacity to borrow money for the long-term plan and capital projects.
Mr Foster agreed and said the issue would be subject of a separate report which would be presented to councillors before the draft of the policy.