Budget review reveals blow-outs

The Port Lincoln City Council's March budget review has revealed the economic impacts of not only the COVID-19 pandemic but other events including flash flooding in the city in January.

"We've done an end of March (budget) review which is unusual but we're just going to look at the sort of impacts we'll have from the COVID-19 stuff and that's not as bad as we thought," said mayor Brad Flaherty.

"We've introduced the hardship policy where we've deferred some rates and some rents and we've deferred some fines and the like, so that's really the major impact for us I suppose."

The review revealed storm damage in January cost the council $125,000, while impacts of COVID-19 had cost the Nautilus Arts Centre more than $57,000 due to cancelled shows and refunds, the Visitor Information Centre $34,146, and the Leisure Centre $59,903.

The leisure centre expansion project already cost council an additional $620,000, from the original budget of $4.49 million, after the construction company went into liquidation 12 months ago.

The March budget review set a final figure on the project at $5,109,000.

Mr Flaherty said the centre, which was completed in December, had done "quite well" to finish at that figure.

"Considering where we had been with the leisure centre and the company that was engaged to build it going into administration, we've done really quite well - time wise it was only a short delay," he said.

"While it's over budget, and I acknowledge it's over budget, the fact that we dragged ourselves out of an administration nightmare, I think that we've done quite well considering."

He also said councils had been given a three month extension from the state government to introduce their 2020/21 budgets, but that Port Lincoln City Council would not need that long.

"We'll probably be a little bit behind time, but I don't think we're going to utilise that three month extension," he said.