Airport Runway Works Over Budget Says Council Report

airport runwayThe cost of the work to refurbish the airfield at St Mary’s airport is £560,000 over budget. And the Council doesn’t know yet where that money will come from.

Papers being debated in tomorrow’s Full Council meeting reveal that the extra costs were caused by “unexpected ground conditions” under the apron and at the end of one of the runways.

There were also new requirements imposed by the CAA, which further stretched the project budget.

The report by Finance Officer Sarah Chodkiewicz says the Council has applied to the European Regional Development Fund to finance the overspend, although that’s not been approved yet.

Her report says “a further paper outlining funding proposals” will be brought to the Council if that application fails.

But the Authority will still be left with a bill of £74,000, which they intend to fund through borrowing.

It’s an important meeting for councillors tomorrow, which will set the budgets for the coming year and beyond.

The papers show that the Authority is still struggling to keep its spending under control.

This time last year, members approved a budget of £4.64m for 2014/15, which was later revised up by almost £1m to £5.59m.

But their actual spending this year is expected to be even higher at £5.71m.

Part of this increase is due to large infrastructure projects like the road resurfacing on St Mary’s.

Councillors are being asked to approve a budget of £4.86m for the new financial year starting in April.

That’s £370,000 more than was spent in 2013/14, the year before new Chief Executive Theo Leisjer was appointed.

Councillors are likely to ask where Mr Leisjer’s promised savings of £400,000 through the extensive restructuring of the Town Hall last summer, have been found.

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