A COUNCIL budget surplus of $1.048 million is set to go to Wodonga's new library and gallery if a bid for Victorian government funding fails.
The saving of $1,048,196 in the 2018-19 council budget is the result of various factors.
The most significant is a $643,000 reduction in salary and superannuation costs due to fewer staff.
Other savings emerged from higher interest revenue ($172,000), a dip in Workcover claims and premiums ($155,000) and lower waste contract charges ($139,000).
"There has been a continued focus on keeping costs down and improving practices, for example further improvements in workplace safety continue to have a positive impact on productivity and contributed to further reductions in the insurance premiums," council staff note in the agenda.
"Council has also utilised internal staff on capital projects where ever possible, which has contributed to lower employee costs in works."
It is proposed to put the $1.048 million, along with $400,000 in council cash reserves, towards the construction of the library and gallery.
The money would cover any cost blowout in the building of the hub on the site of the current library and art space near The Cube.
The council has applied for a grant from the government's Living Libraries Infrastructure Program and expects to know late next month if it has been successful.
The finance staff reported that if the application was "unsuccessful council may need to allocate up to an additional $1.4 million to the gallery library project budget".
Under the conditions of Living Libraries programs, between $150,001 and $750,000, can be granted for major works that include construction.
If the full $1.4 million is not needed for the library and gallery it is recommended it be kept and factored into 2020-21 budget requirements.