City’s $6m budget black hole

Vincent chief executive Len Kosova wants DAPs scrapped
Vincent chief executive Len Kosova wants DAPs scrapped

Mr Kosova prepared a report for last Tuesday’s council meeting, which revealed the City had mistakenly estimated a $3.2 million surplus for 2014-15, when in fact it was more than $3 million in deficit.

If not addressed, the error could result in an estimated deficit of $6.4 million by June next year.

Mayor John Carey received a letter last month from the Department of Local Government and Communities that identified the error. The department requested a response outlining measures to be implemented to redress the deficit and achieve a balanced position by August 31.

Mr Kosova is currently working on a review of the Operating and Capital Budgets to identify options for reducing the deficit and a more detailed report to present to the August 26 council meeting.

‘It appears to have just been a human error and then council made decisions based on the budget being balanced,’ Mr Kosova said.

‘Now we will be looking to make as many cost savings as possible.

‘Some projects, some initiatives and some council service standards could suffer.’

However, Mr Kosova said rates would not be increased and the cost cutting would have ‘little to no impact’ on the City’s landmark projects like the Bike Network Plan.

Mr Kosova said the identified error was part of an ongoing problem with Vincent’s budgets.

He said despite forecasting a balanced budget every year, the actual budget had come in at a deficit for the past five years.

‘Why didn’t we know about it, why didn’t we plan for it?’ Mr Kosova said. ‘This trend needs to be addressed and tighter quality control is needed.’