A BUDGET result that was better than expected will allow Moyne Shire to pay off a loan and put more money back into the community in the future.
A report presented to the council last week revealed a “favourable 2016/17 cash result of $1.568 million”.
Councillors voted in favour of paying off the remainder of a loan valued at $833,310 and its additional “break costs” of $58,460.
There was also unanimous support to put the remainder of the funds into a “surplus fund for future opportunities and budget variations”.
The report said the budget result came from better-than-expected revenue from external works the shire had done for third parties such as VicRoads, “favourable operating results” in aged care, planning and building services, and Mt Shadwell quarry, as well as “unbudgeted land sales”.
Paying off the loan earlier than its 2021 deadline was expected to save the council a further $74,796 in interest, and will leave the shire with only one remaining loan.
Moyne Shire’s director of community and corporate support Kevin Leddin said this meant Moyne had one of the lowest debt levels of all Victorian councils.
The money left after paying the loan will top up a surplus fund, which had about $200,000 remaining after last financial year. Mr Leddin said it meant the council now had access to about $800,000 for funding opportunities where matched contributions are required, or other budget variations.
Cr Jill Parker said it was a good example of Moyne’s “frugal and astute” approach to budgeting, while Cr Daniel Meade said it meant the council could reduce debt while taking advantage of opportunities that (arise) in the next 12 months.