Great Southern Herald - - FRONT PAGE - Saskia Adysti

The Shire of Katan­ning is propos­ing a 4.6 per cent rise in rates, cit­ing State Gov­ern­ment cuts and in­creased charges among its rea­sons.

The Shire of Katan­ning is plan­ning to in­crease rates by 4.63 per cent and the council has or­gan­ised a spe­cial meet­ing to fi­nalise the 2017-18 bud­get pro­posal.

The pro­posed rate change was flagged due to a num­ber of fac­tors, in­clud­ing cuts to a di­rect road grant from Main Roads WA, which has led to a loss of $48,556 in the Shire’s road main­te­nance bud­get.

The re­moval of a com­mu­nity pools re­vi­tal­i­sa­tion grant has also led to a $32,000 loss.

On top of all of that, an in­crease in util­ity bills — 10.9 per cent for elec­tric­ity and 6 per cent for wa­ter — has also played a fac­tor in the new rates.

This year’s bud­get pro­posal also shows no in­crease in coun­cil­lors’ at­ten­dance fees as it re­mains at $10,000 a coun­cil­lor, with an an­nual al­lowance for the pres­i­dent of $20,000 and $5000 for the deputy pres­i­dent.

Shire fi­nance manager Libby French has re­quested the council adopt the new rates.

The bud­get pro­posal has been pre­sented and re­viewed by coun­cil­lors on three sep­a­rate oc­ca­sions since the July council meet­ing but a de­ci­sion has not been fi­nalised.

Coun­cil­lor Martin Van Kold­en­hoven said coun­cil­lors were not sat­is­fied with what was be­ing pre­sented.

“There’s much to look at and much to dis­cuss and that is what we want; we want to look at the fig­ures first,” he said.

Shire chief ex­ec­u­tive Julian Mur­phy said there was noth­ing par­tic­u­larly ex­tra­or­di­nary in this year’s bud­get as the rates in­crease was less than what it was last year — the 2016-17 bud­get showed an in­crease of 4.95 per cent.

The fi­nal de­ci­sion on the bud­get will be reached at the next council meet­ing on Au­gust 29.

The of­fices of the Shire of Katan­ning.

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