Kaipara District Council will defer some roading projects around the district to ensure it stays within projected debt levels.
At a December council meeting, staff advised debt was still projected to remain at $78.7 million as originally projected for the year ending 30 June 2013.
However because of the delays in collecting some rates, there was potential that debt levels might need to increase to fund scheduled capital works.
Chair of commissioners, John Robertson, said that commissioners strongly believed council must operate within its means and that exceeding projected debt levels “was not an option.”
“We have said that council will no longer borrow to pay for operating expenses and we need to stick to that. If the money is not there, we cannot spend it,” he said.
Chief executive Steve Ruru said it was early in the capital works programme and if anything was to be deferred, now was the time to do it.
“What’s driving this is a cash position concern; it’s a timing issue. The works are still needed and it’s just a case of pushing them out until we are sure the money is there.”
It was likely council would defer parts of its road rebuilding programming and that these decisions, along with other deferrals of wastewater work for example, would help to save around $1 million from the current year’s budget.
Commissioners also asked that staff find further operational efficiencies to help manage risks around delayed rates collection and to ensure debt levels do not increase beyond levels currently forecast.