Delays for council project funding

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FUNDING for seven key projects could be deferred for a year by Frankston Council.

Council is set to hold its mid-year budget review at its 27 January meeting. Council officers have recommended that funding for some projects be pushed back because of the strain COVID-19 has put on resources.

“This financial year, council has faced COVID restrictions which has reduced resources on the ground to deliver some major projects and has had a significant impact on our ability to engage with the community and key stakeholders on projects. As a result, project cash flows on seven projects have been revised and a total of $6.720 million out of an $8.770 million expenditure reduction has been deferred to 2021-2022,” council officers wrote.

Funding which has been proposed to be deferred to the 2021/2022 budget includes $3.6 million for the Jubilee Park Indoor Multipurpose Netball Complex, $1 million for the Frankston Yacht Club fit-out and accommodation of the Frankston Coast Guard, $1 million for a soccer pavillion at Monterey Reserve, $400,000 for the redevelopment of the Frankston BMX Track, $400,000 for the Kananook Creek Arboretum, $157,000 for the new Kevin Collopy Pavilion at Jubilee Park, and $155,000 for plant and equipment acquisition and new tree management crew.

The proposed budget amendments which councillors will consider on Wednesday will result in a cash deficit of $641,000.

Council officers wrote “the impact of COVID-19 and subsequent government directives have had a negative effect on council’s financial position.

“From the 2020-2021 adopted budget, expectations are that COVID-19 impacts will result in reduced income of $4.909 million. This reduction has been partly offset by a decrease in expenditure of $1.707 million relating to COVID-19 events. Therefore the impact of COVID-19 on council’s budget is a net cost of $3.202 million.”

Council officers propose funding the cash deficit through $358,000 in “contingency savings to be found across the capital works program in the remainder of the financial year” and $283,000 “funded from reallocations within the relief and recovery package activities.”

At their 27 January meeting, councillors will also consider endorsing the allocation of new funds for  Nat’s Track, $87,000, and the Urban Forest Action Plan, $60,000.

First published in the Frankston Times – 26 January 2021

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