The Franklin environment will benefit from money that has gone unspent because of restrictions or difficulties created by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Franklin Local Board has reallocated more than $55,000 in funding almost equally between three areas, the environment, community grants and the board’s support for economic growth in the area.
Board chair Andy Baker says the board is keen to see budget underspends in a financial year used responsibly and had no issues this year finding such projects.
“There are two excellent environmental projects crying out for funding in our area, so we have allocated $11,855 to Predator Free Franklin, and $7445 to our Waterways Protection Fund, which works with landowners to fence and replant waterways to improve water quality.
“Predator Free will use the funds to purchase bait and traps that are provided free to the community to support pest eradication, freeing up resources to progress other pest eradication initiatives.
“We have also been able to reallocate more than $18,000 to our community grants programme.
“Applications always exceed what we can offer to groups that are all working to improve things in our many communities”
Franklin local economic development receives a boost of $17,863, which will be used for the Homeland Project, which involves targeted highlighting of the area’s food resources, and also the promotion of the area for film production, including distributing the Franklin Film Prospectus.
The unspent budget largely comes from civic events such as Movies in Parks, and other supported volunteer activities that could not go ahead during COVID-19.
Auckland Council rules provide that underspent operational expenditure can be reallocated across departments however anything unspent by 30 June is treated as savings.