Three tender projects were presented to the [Bass Coast Shire] councillors’ meeting 17 June 2020.
Total project costs:
• Pioneer Bay Drainage Improvement Project cost $3,817,367.
• Demolition of Cowes Cultural and Community Centre cost $265,630.
• Wonthaggi Railway Station Extension and Glazing cost $265,810.
Totalling $4,348,807.
Ratepayers should be concerned when these three projects include a total contingency cost [of] $387,440.00. Contingency costs are usually for unforeseen or unknown additional works once a project is underway.
Why is it our councillors are not expressing concern towards contingency costs when they are so high? Included in the three projects is management cost [of] $202,450.00.
The overall budget positive surplus for these three projects is $609,414.00.
Council informs contingency is an approved inclusion used by council for capital works projects during a budget year.
Ratepayers have contributed $51,373,000 to council’s income for nine months of this financial year 2019-20.
Are contingency costs one way council generates reserves?
Transparency has again taken a backward step (June 17, 2020) when councillors approved a financial delegation for the chief executive officer of council to have the previous authority changed from $250,000 to $1million to expense without having all financial details referred to a council meeting for councillor debate and approval.
That means less than 10 projects out of approximately 130 to 140 will go to a council meeting.
The Financial Delegation Authority of $1million would have to be a top election topic. Maybe contingency costs another.
Graham Jolly, Cape Woolamai.