Five depots into one will save $1m a year
CONSOLIDATING five of its Grafton depots into one super depot at a predicted cost of $13.385million, will save Clarence Valley Council about $1million a year says the general manager, Scott Greensill.
Mr Greensill will present a report to Tuesday's council meeting recommending council note and receive a report from consultants AECGroup, titled Depot Options Review, which outlines indicative costs and savings from the proposed consolidation.
The report compares two options the council has with its Grafton depots, retaining the status quo or closing down five old ones and creating something new.
Mr Greensill said the report showed refurbishing the old depots would cost council $8.779million and deny it much of the savings it will accrue from a new depot.
"The report shows we will save $1,035,762 in the first year, $822,307 in the second year and $1,088,974 in the third year and basically about $1million a year after that," Mr Greensill said.
Mr Greensill said the report predicts with the sale of assets and recovery of money from reserve funds, council will be just $15,128 short of the cost of the depot.
The AECGroup report predicts an annual saving of $800,000 in wages from the consolidation, which equates to 10 fulltime jobs. The loss of jobs will occur over a long period, by natural attrition, the report suggests.
Other savings will include a $181,121 reduction in inventory held, an initial $299,000 boost from plant sales, plus an annual ongoing $164,000 operational saving and a small plant saving of $81,642. The consolidation should also produce cost cuts in electricity, insurance, cleaning and security charges.
The report also lists non-financial benefits to the council from a new depot, including better staff culture, improved workplace health and safety and improved traffic flows.
Mr Greensill said in addition to the report to council other work is continuing on the project.
He said the Joint Regional Planning Panel (JRPP) will consider a development application for the site in the next few months, an application to the Office of Local Government seeking approval for the project under its funding guidelines is being prepared and a quantity surveyor is valuing a final design of the project.
Mr Greensill hoped the report would end speculation about costings for the depot and other issues, such as asbestos on the site, which have been reported in the media.
"If asbestos is found at the site, the council has access to methods of dealing with it safely and legally," he said.
"There have also been all sorts of figures quoted for costs associated with the depot that I don't know where they come from and are just wrong."
He said a single depot, plus maintaining Koolkhan as a "park and ride" depot, would bring the council in line with other councils.
"Most councils formed at the beginning of last century would have a single depot," he said.
"Closing down the pre-amalgamation depots will get us back to a normal state."