Benalla Ensign

Council releases budget for feedback

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Benalla Rural City Council’s Proposed 2021/2022 Budget is open for community feedback until Thursday, May 27.

The budget includes an $11.18 million capital works program highlighte­d by a $3 million upgrade to the Benalla Art Gallery and $1.814 million to the Benalla Visitor Informatio­n Centre redevelopm­ent.

Roadworks total $1.619 million and $1.044 million will be invested into drainage works.

The capital works program is funded by $6.089 million of Australian and Victorian government grants and $5.091 million in council cash.

The proposed Budget includes a 1.5 per cent rate increase in line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates system.

Forecast operating revenue is $37.301 million with operating expenses of $34.566 million resulting in an operating surplus of $2.735 million.

Waste management charges increase by five per cent and are budgeted to raise $3.730 million.

No new borrowings are proposed for 2021/2022.

Debt decreases by more than $1 million to $3.804 million by June 30, 2022.

Chief executive officer Dom Testoni said the proposed budget was financiall­y responsibl­e allowing services to be maintained and, with the assistance of other levels of government, providing sufficient funds to invest in capital works.

“We will continue to find efficienci­es and look for cost savings to ensure the longterm financial sustainabi­lity of the organisati­on,” Mr Testoni said.

“Until further initiative­s and income generation are brought to account, our primary goal is to consolidat­e, but also to position ourselves to take full advantage of opportunit­ies that may present that can fund future services and projects to cater for an expanding community.”

Submission­s on the proposed budget will be taken until Thursday, May 27. The final budget will be presented for adoption on Wednesday, June 23.

For more informatio­n on providing feedback, visit benalla.vic.gov.au

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