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Source: Auckland Council

Franklin Local Board has been able to reallocate more than $90,000 to various initiatives after cost-savings achieved in other projects.

Savings were achieved around costs in several projects, but notably in event partnerships and placemaking and safety improvements, a result of COVID-19 derailing many community-led activities.

Board chair Andy Baker says costs don’t often come in under budget but COVID-19 and its effects on council-wide budgets meant sound financial management was critical.

“You want to make sure you are not necessarily paying for the cheapest delivery but the most cost-effective. These are ratepayer dollars and it is up to us to ensure there is sound cost control because every dollar saved can be spent somewhere else.”

Some of the money has been reallocated to three environmental projects, Pest Free Franklin, the Waterways Protection Fund and Papakura Stream restoration costs.

“It seems appropriate that money saved in projects designed to protect the environment is spent on other projects designed to do the same thing,” Baker says.

The rest of the money has been made available to the board’s community grants fund.

“That will mean more of the groups that are active across our area in supporting their communities can be helped.”