Rates rise to fund Shire as­set care

Albany Extra - - News - Saskia Adysti

In a bid to im­prove the Shire’s fi­nan­cial per­for­mance, Den­mark coun­cil has agreed on a 3.85 per cent rates in­crease for their 2018-19 bud­get last Tues­day.

The Shire’s in­creased rates would re­sult in the min­i­mum rates charge ris­ing from $1024 to $1065.

Mean­while, min­i­mum ru­ral home­owner rates would rise from $1253 to $1303.

The new bud­get also in­cludes $7.1 mil­lion ear­marked for McLean Park Sports Precinct up­grades and the com­ple­tion of Plane Tree Her­itage Precinct project.

Other in­vest­ments in­clude a new fire shed for Ocean Beach Bush­fire Brigade and Hors­ley Road Bridge redevelopment.

Shire pres­i­dent Cein­wen Gearon said the Shire has been de­vel­op­ing this bud­get and as­sets man­age­ment plan for the past 18 months.

“From the work un­der­taken to date we know that we have his­tor­i­cally un­der­spent across our as­set port­fo­lios,” she said.

“To im­prove our fi­nan­cial po­si­tion, Coun­cil has recog­nised the need to spend more money on our ex­ist­ing as­sets rather than ex­pand­ing the Shire’s as­set base.”

The de­ci­sion fol­lows af­ter the Shire of Den­mark’s low Fi­nan­cial Health In­di­ca­tor scores.

The FHI is a mea­sure­ment of a lo­cal govern­ment’s over­all fi­nan­cial health and a re­sult of 70 and above in­di­cates sound fi­nan­cial health.

The Shire of Den­mark’s FHI was 47, which one of the low­est in the State.

Shire of Den­mark chief ex­ec­u­tive, Bill Parker said the suc­cess­ful de­liv­ery of the 2018/19 cap­i­tal pro­gram would have pos­i­tive im­pli­ca­tions on the Shire’s ra­tio per­for­mance and as re­sult should en­hance the Shire’s Fi­nan­cial Health In­di­ca­tor.

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