Council ?not in the red

By SALLY GORDON

OUTGOING Clarence Valley administrator Neil Payne has verbally flayed reports the coun- cil was financially 'in the red'. Mr Payne said state- ments recently published in another Clarence pub- lication that purported the council was operat- ing 'in the red by $1.5 million' were incorrect. "The council is not $1.5 million in the red," Mr Payne said. "Now that we've had all of our accounts au- dited our unrestricted cash figure, which we estimated at the first of June 2004 to be $2.2 mil- lion, has risen to $3.9 million. "That's money the council has, that is not earmarked for anything . . . the new council will have one million more in unrestricted cash than what was budgetted for." Mr Payne said part of the confusion regarding

council's financial posi- tion arose from the fact that council's original es- timate of its unrestricted cash at June 30 last year was $2.2 million. This, he said, com- bined with council's then estimated 2004-05 budget deficit resulted in an es- timated unrestricted cash position of about $1.3 million for June 30, 2005. "If you're in the red it means you've actually spent $1.5 million more than you've got, we haven't done that be- cause we have unres- tricted cash reserves and those deficit budgets are funded out of that unres- tricted cash reserve," he said. The administrator said that even with a deficit budget the council had been able to improve the unrestricted cash posi- tion for the new council. He said CVC's unres- tricted cash funds as of June this year demon- strated the budget was financially sound.



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