Council presents figures for 2020/21

Council presents figures for 2020/21

Council has turned around it's predicted losses for financial year 2020/21 to show a consolidated (all funds combined) operating result of $3.4m.

The three funds break down to a surplus of $3.06m in the general fund, a deficit of $1.46m in the water fund and a surplus of $1.85m in the sewer fund.

This is not the whole story though as at June 30, 2021, council required $93m to meet the needs of both internally and externally restricted reserves but its total cash was $85m.

Councillors voted to move $8m of internally restricted funds into the general fund to avoid a qualified audit.

That $8m will be reinstated during the current financial year.

Council said that several issues outside its control had brought the finances to that point.

The sum of $16.9m owed by government departments for work was highlighted although not all of that work had been completed or all milestones met.

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The council figures for financial year 2020/21 also come with a list of benchmarks showing where council exceeds or falls below the benchmark.

The own source revenue figures - these are about where council gets its money from and how much is in its own control - show council falling below the benchmark in the general fund. The own source operating revenue should be better than 60 per cent but is 42.99 per cent.

This can be attributed to the high level of grants council has received, which has skewed the ratio between own source operating revenue and income.

Rates, annual charges, interest and extra charges outstanding percentage should be below 10 per cent but are 11.5 per cent in the general fund, something that can be attributed to rates outstanding because of the bushfire situation.

In the water fund the operating permance ratio is at -11.65 per cent and should be better than zero but there has been capital expenditure from council's own funds for works and a loss of income when fees were waived due to the bushfires.

The sewer fund exceeds all benchmarks.

Council staff have made several observations about the figures saying the unrestricted ratio is a measure of council's ability to pay its current liabilities. Since it deals with only unrestricted asset and liabilities, it is a general fund performance measure. The result of 2.06 has improved since 2020.

"The cash expense cover ratio includes the restricted and unrestricted cash. Whilst the ratio is healthy it should be noted that restricted cash is only available for the specific purpose it was collected for," council said in its report.

Overall there are issues relating to infrastructure renewals although the asset maintenance ratio is good in both general and water funds but falling below the benchmark in the sewer fund.

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This story Council presents figures for 2020/21 first appeared on Merimbula News Weekly.