Roading budget offset

Aug 26, 2010

An overall under-spend on roads in the Queenstown Lakes District for the 2009/10 year has helped offset unbudgeted expenditure, due in the main to weather events, Queenstown Lakes District Council transport manager Denis Mander said.

“Unexpected maintenance like the need to remove high risk trees on Lower Shotover Road ($143,637), repairs to the ‘underside’ of the Edith Cavell Bridge ($59,558) and emergency work due to slips ($394,719) is unavoidable and comes with a price tag,” Mr Mander said.

Slips, dangerous trees, safety signage, flooding, ice and snow control had collectively delivered a cost of maintenance $1.1 million over budget.

“These are all circumstances that are beyond our control and it seems 2009/2010 had its fair share of events. The mitigating factor here is that the roading budget for the same period was well under budget,” Mr Mander said.

The roading budget had been heavily downgraded due to the reduction in New Zealand Transport Agency funding released in the national programme for 2009-12.

“The other really important factor has been that we have seen an improvement in the construction market. The result has been that projects have been achieved at lower than expected costs,” Mr Mander said.

‘In other words the contract allows the council to benefit from an improved market,’ Mr Mander said.

The overall budget bottom line which factored in both maintenance and road renewals was positive.

“Overall we have incurred significantly less cost than budgeted,” Mr Mander said.

The end of year report for the transport activity would be received by the QLDC utilities committee at its meeting on Tuesday (31 August).

For further information please contact Denis Mander 03 441 0499.

By: Rebecca