Bi­tu­men not stick­ing to bud­get

South Waikato News - - NEWS -

An in­crease in bi­tu­men costs has blown out South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil’s road­ing bud­get by $225,609.

The fig­ures came to light re­cently when it was found the ap­proved bud­get of $ 5,119,961 had climbed to $5,345,570.

South Waikato Dis­trict Coun­cil group as­sets man­ager Roger Fisher said the in­crease was out of the coun­cil’s con­trol.

‘‘Ex­pen­di­ture ex­ceeded (the) bud­get last fi­nan­cial year ( 2011- 2012) due to a large in­crease in bi­tu­men price.

The ex­tra cost was largely due to fluc­tu­a­tions for the re­seal pro­gramme, of which bi­tu­men made up be­tween 60 per cent and 70 per cent of the to­tal cost. ‘‘The bi­tu­men price can change daily de­pend­ing on oil prices, so coun­cil can only ever es­ti­mate these costs,’’ Mr Fisher said.

To en­sure there was no ad­di­tional cost to ratepay­ers, the coun­cil would trans­fer the ad­di­tional ex­pen­di­ture to the cur­rent year (2012-2013) and the road­ing pro­gramme would be amended to con­tain costs to fund­ing lev­els.

Bi­tu­men cost $ 1050 per tonne at the start of the con­tract, but in­creased to $1275.

The bud­get each year cov­ered the es­ti­mated re­seal pro­gramme costs, and ex­tra costs from the pre­vi­ous year.

‘‘The pro­gramme re­duces to fit the bud­get,’’ Mr Fisher said.

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