Rates ex­pected to rise by 3 per cent

Southern Telegraph - - Telegraph News - Ai­den Boy­ham

City of Rock­ing­ham coun­cil­lors will meet for their June meet­ing on Tues­day night, with the set­ting of rates one of sev­eral items on the agenda.

Dur­ing the meet­ing, coun­cil­lors are ex­pected to adopt the 2017/18 bud­get, which would mean a 3 per cent rate rise across the city.

Dur­ing the Cor­po­rate and Com­mu­nity Devel­op­ment Com­mit­tee meet­ing on June 20, it was rec­om­mended that the bud­get be adopted by the coun­cil af­ter a 3-0 vote.

Coun­cil­lor Chris El­liott, who sat in at the com­mit­tee meet­ing for Cr Justin Smith who was ab­sent, said it was out­stand­ing that the new bud­get could fund all nec­es­sary items while keep­ing rates in­creases low.

“For the last five or six years we’ve been un­der real pres­sure in try­ing to meet the needs of the City and at the same time keep­ing rates as low as we can,” Cr El­liott said.

“It’s out­stand­ing that this year we are able to fund all of the items . . . And keep the rate in­crease down to 3 per cent. There has been some re­ally quite in­no­va­tive think­ing on a cou­ple of is­sues that have al­lowed us to do that.”

To­tal rate yield from a 3 per cent rise is ex­pected to amount to about $83 mil­lion and would make up 46 per cent of the City’s over­all op­er­at­ing in­come.

The bud­get also fea­tures the fund­ing break­down for sev­eral projects in­clud­ing $9.6 mil­lion for the Water­front Vil­lage Fore­shore Park re­de­vel­op­ment, $6.2 mil­lion for stage one of the Bal­divis District Sport­ing Com­plex, and $5.4 mil­lion for road resur­fac­ing and re­newals.

The City also plans on con­tin­u­ing to of­fer rates smooth­ing for ratepay­ers af­ter im­ple­ment­ing it last year.

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