2018-19 Budget Adopted
At its Ordinary Meeting held 21 June 2018 Council formally adopted its 2018-19 Budget and 2018/9 – 2021/2 Strategic Resource Plan.
The 2018/19 Budget calls for a 3.5% rate increase in line with the variation to the rate cap Council was granted by the Essential Services Commission.
This will see Council raise total rates and charges of $7.5 million. Included in this are $7.0 million in general rates and municipal charges and $0.5 million in Waste Management Charges. The waste management charge increases by $30 per assessment as a result of increasing recyclables costs to Council.
It is important for ratepayers to note that being a property revaluation year their individual property rates may not move by exactly 3.5%. Basically, if an individual property increases in value greater than the average valuation increase across the shire, then that property's rates will increase higher than 3.5%, conversely if an individual property increases in value at a lower rate than the average their rates will move by less than 3.5%. It is very important for individual ratepayers to check their valuations on their rate notices – if a ratepayer believes their valuation to be incorrect then they have the right to object to that valuation within two months of receiving their rates notice.
The 2018/19 Budget provides for considerable capital expenditure on Council's renewal expenditure on Council's public assets. The total capital program calls for $10.2 million of works, with $9.5 million of this being to renew our existing assets.
Our road network receives $7.2 million of this, including $2.5 million of flood recovery works. Council has allocated $1.0 million on renewing road seals, with a further $0.8 million on gravel road re-sheeting and $0.4 million allocated to shoulder re-sheeting. Added to this the budget contains a further $2.5 million in renewal and upgrade works to Council's roads network. All of this is on top of $2.6 million Council has allocated for regular and routine maintenance works on our road network.
Council has also allocated $0.30 million to renewal works on Council owned buildings, to keep these operational, and $0.57 million on bridge renewal and upgrade works.
The 2018/19 Budget also allows for major projects in the form of the Harrow Recreation Reserve upgrade with a nominal budget allocation of $1.20 million (including grants of $1.15 million) and the Edenhope Community Hub with a nominal budget allocation for the first stage of building of $0.85 million (it is envisaged that works will span budget years for this project).
The 2018/19 Budget also allocates funding to maintain Council's on going services, with Children's, Youth and Family Services (including pre-schools) being allocated $0.73 million in funding, Waste Management Services $0.72 million, Aged and Disability Services $0.65 million, Parks and Reserves $0.45, million, Planning and Building Services $0.41 million, Recreation Services $0.26 million, Libraries $0.17 million, Public Health $0.16 million
Council believes the 2018/19 Budget to be responsible and sustainable, by maintaining our community services and asset base for the future.