Projects are ‘just resting’

“DEFERRED, not deleted” is the message from Vincent’s new CEO Len Kosova as he tries to patch up a $6.4 million budget hole left by the previous administration.

Already identified for deferring is $3.6 million of capital works including footpath upgrades, the Cheriton Street cottage refurbishment, the $100,000 skate park, the Anzac Cottage spend, and a $140,000 CCTV for Oxford Street.

“Deferring does not mean deleting,” Mr Kosova reminded councillors at this week’s meeting.

He says the city has so much on the go it wouldn’t have been able to get to all of the deferred projects in 10 months anyway.

Mr Kosova’s also managed to find $314,000 savings in the council’s operating budget.

Mayor John Carey says some of those savings are surprisingly easy to make.

“It wasn’t as hard to identify savings in the operational budget and capital works,” he says, crediting the discovery to bringing “a new set of eyes” into the organisation to take a look at how things were done and find “where the fat is, where the waste is”.

“We have delivered these savings with far less pain than anticipated.

“The organisation is going to be better off for this process because it is a total review for all our operations and services.

“Just because something has always been done a particular way doesn’t justify that we keep on doing it that way.”

The council will also look at selling off the entirety of the old police station on Angove Street instead of just half, raking in at least an extra $770,000. But it’ll need to sell it for a higher price if it wants to recover the $374,704 paid in interest since 2009.

The building is currently inhabited by the community organisation Grow, a mental health group.

The savings plans will go to a special budget meeting for approval.

Mr Kosova says it’s important to note the city’s not in deficit—yet: That’s the projection for the next financial year if the shortfall isn’t addressed.

by DAVID BELL

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