Funds that were quarantined for Council’s contribution towards unsuccessful grant applications and the decision to move merger funds from reserves for projects spanning two years has put a silver lining on Council’s financial position with the third quarter budget review showing an improvement in operating and capital of $4.8 million.
Overall Council’s CFO has advised that Council’s financial position is satisfactory. However the challenge still remains to achieve the State Government’s Fit for the Future benchmarks for a financially sustainable Armidale Regional Council by the State Government’s imposed date of 2020/21.
Armidale Regional Council Mayor Cr Simon Murray said although we were unsuccessful in obtaining ambitious timber bridge renewal funding from the Federal Government it has meant we have been able to achieve a balanced budget for the 2017-2018 financial year.
“Council will still be completing the refurbishment and renewal of 10 high priority timber bridges across the Local Government Area with money allocated from the merger fund, we just won’t be able to address all of our timber bridges at this time,” said Cr Murray.
“It is a priority for this council that we live within our means. The community expects Council to manage its finances with a view to long term financial sustainability.
“Council will, in the coming months begin a conversation on service levels and the community’s financially realistic priorities. What level of service does the community want and are they willing to pay for it? This is an important question to ask to ensure we balance community expectations with achieving financial sustainability.”
Published on 30 May 2018