Alpine Shire year yields a $9m sur­plus

Alpine Observer - - News - BY JAMIE KRONBORG jkro­n­borg@ ne­me­

ALPINE Shire Coun­cil ended the 2016-17 fi­nan­cial year with a sur­plus of $9 mil­lion.

Coun­cil­lors were told at last night’s Oc­to­ber or­di­nary meet­ing that the ex­cess was greater than fore­cast in the bud­get – largely at­trib­ut­able to ad­di­tional in­come of $6m which was re­ceived but not bud­geted in 2016-17.

Chief ex­ec­u­tive of­fi­cer Char­lie Bird said the favourable po­si­tion was com­prised $1.8m in fi­nan­cial as­sis­tance grants from the Vic­to­rian Grants Com­mis­sion for the cur­rent fi­nan­cial year which was re­ceived be­fore June 30, $890,000 in the form of road and drainage as­sets for new sub­di­vi­sions in the shire, and an ad­di­tional 21km of in­fra­struc­ture iden­ti­fied from map­ping the coun­cil’s drainage as­sets which was cal­cu­lated as hav­ing a value of $2.5m.

The coun­cil’s an­nual re­port, tabled at the meet­ing, showed that em­ployee costs were also lower than bud­geted by $918,000.

The re­port said a wage freeze in­cluded in the coun­cil’s en­ter­prise agree­ment with its staff, ap­proved in De­cem­ber, con­trib­uted to this re­sult, as well as a num­ber of bud­geted staff po­si­tions on which re­mained va­cant.

But ma­te­ri­als and ser­vices ex­pen­di­ture was higher than bud­geted, the re­port showed.

“In­flu­enc­ing the re­sult was $ 2.4m of project ex­pen­di­ture iden­ti­fied as op­er­at­ing ex­pen­di­ture and ex­pensed to ma­te­ri­als and ser­vices in­stead of cap­i­talised,” the re­port said.

This ex­pen­di­ture in­cluded re­pairs for flood- dam­aged in­fra­struc­ture and land­scap­ing costs for the ‘Alpine Bet­ter Places’ devel­op­ment and beau­ti­fi­ca­tion project in Pore­punkah and Bright.

If these were ex­cluded the ma­te­ri­als and ser­vices bud­get would have been ahead by $1m.

The re­port listed the coun­cil’s sig­nif­i­cant cap­i­tal works for the year – ‘Alpine Bet­ter Places’ projects in Bright and Pore­punkah, Myrtle­ford swim­ming pool re­newal, Mys­tic Moun­tain Bike Park ‘hero trail’ devel­op­ment and Mount Beauty com­mu­nity li­brary re­fur­bish­ment.

In other busi­ness on last night’s agenda, the coun­cil was to con­sider award­ing a $334,620 con­tract to G. F. and A. M. Peter­son for five-year main­te­nance, waste man­age­ment and snow groom­ing ser­vices at Din­ner Plain.

The Peter­son part­ner­ship has been pro­vid­ing these ser­vices for the Din­ner Plain com­mu­nity since 2007.

The coun­cil ex­tended Peter­sons’ five-year con­tract by three years in 2012 and again by two years in 2015.

Alpine act­ing as­sets direc­tor Will Jeremy said in a re­port to the coun­cil about the pro­posed new con­tract that across the 10 years of ser­vice de­liv­ered by Peter­sons ad­di­tional snow groom­ing works had been un­der­taken with the ad­vent of mo­bile groom­ing ma­chin­ery.

“Snow mo­bile groom­ing al­lows for groom­ing to oc­cur at min­i­mal snow depths, there­fore pro­vid­ing the op­por­tu­nity for cross-coun­try trails to open when the snow cover is min­i­mal,” Mr Jeremy said.

Grass mow­ing three times a year had also been added within the scope of the pre­vi­ous con­tracts, snow-clear­ing on Cas­tran Cor­ner walk­way and stairs, walk­way grit in the com­mer­cial area and groom­ing on Pea Shooter to­bog­gan slope.

The new con­tract adds groom­ing of Nordic Trails and snow-clear­ing of Din­ner Plain roads and carparks.

PHOTO: Jamie Kronborg

CON­TRACT: Alpine coun­cil was last night to con­sider award­ing a five-year Din­ner Plain main­te­nance, waste man­age­ment and snow-groom­ing con­tract.

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