Council works on efficiencies in budget
The increased cost of managing recycled waste and the impact of rate capping have been considered in the preparation of the 2018/19 Benalla Rural City Council Budget, which was adopted on June 27.
The budget focuses on delivering the core functions as outlined in the Council Plan 2017-2021, including more than $1 Million on roads, $420 000 on bridges and $215 000 on footpaths under a $4.434 million Capital Projects Program.
In 2015 the Victorian Government introduced rate-capping legislation, which provided for an annual rate cap set by the Local Government Minister, which controls general rate increases, and revenue, for all councils during that financial year. The cap for 2018/19 is 2.25 per cent.
The Budget includes $27.1 million revenue and $29.1 million expenditure with a deficit of $2.008 million.
This deficit position is primarily due to an early payment of the Federal Government financial assistance grant of $2.083 million.
This payment of 50 per cent of the council’s Federal Government allocation was received in June.
Chief executive officer Tony McIlroy said ongoing service delivery within a financially sustainable framework was central to the council’s operations and budget considerations.
‘‘This will be the third year the council has been implementing its internally driven strategy of doing the same with less,’’ Mr McIlroy said.
‘‘We have reduced overheads and employee by $1.754 million.
‘‘We are continually working to ensure we are delivering services in the most efficient, sustainable way.
‘‘There has never been a tougher time for rural councils and the council has been working on preparing a sustainable budget since late January.’’ our costs