City finances very sound: Mayor

Kate FieldingSouth Western Times

Bunbury Mayor Gary Brennan is confident the city’s Budget is on track at the mid-point of the 2016-17 financial year.

Following a review into the $79.9 million Budget in October and past the half-way point of the year, Mr Brennan said the city’s financials were healthy and a number of big ticket projects were also on track.

“It’s all very prudent and down to great management, we’re in a good position,” Mr Brennan said.

“Financially we’re very sound and the projects we’ve identified to be complete come the end of June 2016 and want to complete are on track.”

Major projects identified in July included the Koombana Drive upgrades which were completed last month and the Koombana Bay Foreshore revitalisation worth $4.6 million to Bunbury City Council which is due to go out for tender this month.

The next biggest project for Bunbury is drainage work at Horseshoe Lake worth about $800,000, which was pushed back to the 2017-18 Budget.

Mr Brennan said he was confident the project – a pipeline and pump station from the lake to Preston River – would happen next financial year.

October’s review showed a slight increase in the council’s expected surplus come June 2017, up more than $51,000 to $457, 289.

Mr Brennan said he wanted to see leftover cash around the half-a-million dollar mark.

“My view is we should aim for a surplus around $500,000 and I think we should be awfully close to that,” he said.

The sale of prime land in Bunbury fell short more than $3.9 million last financial year with the council unable to dispose of a number of land assets.

Landcorp was asked for advice and Mr Brennan said he was confident a number of sites would move during the next one or two years.

He said the former Punchbowl Caravan site at Ocean Drive was one block of land that had attracted interest.

“We’ve had indication a syndicate is looking at buying the Punchbowl site, but it’s early discussions at this stage,” he said.

He said a meeting was scheduled with Landcorp next week and he expected further progress on a number of sites.

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