Clare­mont ups rates 2 per cent

Western Suburbs Weekly - - News - By KATE LEAVER

TOWN of Clare­mont ratepay­ers will get a rate in­crease of 2 per cent af­ter coun­cil­lors adopted the 2016-17 bud­get on Tues­day.

Coun­cil­lor Bruce Haynes said the bud­get process had been “oner­ous” and “rig­or­ous” but would achieve “ex­cel­lent re­sults”.

“We are lucky that we are a coun­cil well placed to meet the obli­ga­tions and pro­vide up­grade and main­te­nance be­cause other coun­cils can­not,” he said.

“We should re­flect on the fact that we are able to.”

The Town’s bud­get will be funded by a rate in­crease of 2 per cent tak­ing into ac­count the Con­sumer Price In­dex (CPI) in­crease of 1.5 per cent plus an ad­di­tional 0.5 per cent, which re­flects the cost of do­ing busi­ness in the build­ing and con­struc­tion in­dus­try.

An es­ti­mated sur­plus of $888,105 brought for­ward from June 30 pro­vided ex­tra funds for the 2016-17 bud­get.

Cr Karen Wood said the fact coun­cil had kept the rate in­crease low was “quite in­cred­i­ble”.

Mayor Jock Barker said the bud­get was a tes­ta­ment to the Town’s fi­nan­cial man­age­ment.

“Our fo­cus, this fi­nan­cial year, will be to de­liver on our core busi­ness so as not to put an un­nec­es­sary bur­den on ratepay­ers dur­ing these chal­leng­ing eco­nomic times,” he said.

The bud­get al­lo­cates $3 mil­lion to­wards cap­i­tal works such as the re­newal of roads, foot­paths and park­ing ar­eas.

A fur­ther $1 mil­lion will be put to­wards the re­newal of the Town’s build­ings in­clud­ing $700,000 to re­de­velop the Fresh­wa­ter Bay Mu­seum, in­clud­ing a new pub­lic toi­let in ad­join­ing Mrs Her­bert’s Park.

The re­de­vel­op­ment of the Clare­mont Aquatic Cen­tre and the re­design of the Clare­mont Golf Course by golfer Terry Gale will also be­gin in the next fi­nan­cial year.

An ad­di­tional $42,000 has been al­lo­cated to arts and cul­ture to fund ini­tia­tives such as the Town’s Art Trans­form­ing Clare­mont Fes­ti­val and Art Award and Ex­hi­bi­tion.

A 2 per cent pro­vi­sion has been set aside for an an­nual in­crease for all staff, which equates to about $144,000.

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