Alpine Shire year yields a $9m surplus
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.
CONTRACT: Alpine council was last night to consider awarding a five-year Dinner Plain maintenance, waste management and snow-grooming contract.