Draft budget released
Horsham Rural City Council has called on residents and ratepayers to provide feedback on the municipality’s 2017-draft budget, which includes a two-percent rate rise and an $18.28-million capital works program.
The two-percent rise is in accordance with the State Government’s decision to cap rate rises at a maximum of two percent for 2017-18.
The council earlier this month decided against applying to the Essential Services Commission for a variation, as it did in the previous financial year.
Councillors have decided to include an ongoing one-percent infrastructure renewal component within the overall two-percent rise.
The draft budget forecasts total revenue of $52.4-million and total spending of $48.1-million.
Rates and charges are to make up 48.8 percent of revenue.
Council corporate services director Graeme Harrison said under the draft budget, the council would maintain all services in 2017-18.
“The council has contained cost increases and only minor increases to staff resources and has also continued to fund $460,000 worth of new initiatives to drive further efficiencies and improve our effectiveness,” he said.
Mr Harrison said highlights of the council’s proposed capital works program included $2.15-million for Kalkee Road Children’s and Community Hub development and $2.09-million for Wimmera Intermodal Freight Terminal precinct industrial estate development at Dooen.
The council has also proposed $1-million to improve transfer station facilities, while Laharum’s Cameron Oval will receive $65,000 for new change rooms. Other highlights from the 2017-18 draft budget include: • $40,000 for the development of a
youth strategy. • $40,000 for an improved database in environmental health. • $15,000 to develop an early years integrated service governance model. • $85,000 in building-related projects, such as locking systems, asbestos audit, essential safety measures and inspections. • $20,000 for Firebrace Street heritage shop-front incentive scheme. • $50,000 for a roof design at the
Regional Livestock Exchange. • $48,000 for the establishment of a sustainability reserve to fund future energy saving projects across the municipality. • $60,000 for additional road clearance and tree clearing and pruning. • $30,000 for town entrances and streetscape refurbishments. The budget has been drafted to fit in with the council’s 2017-21 plan and 2017-18 draft rates strategy, which are also out for public comment.
People can visit www.hrcc.vic. gov.au for copies of the draft documents.
Ratepayers can make submissions to any of the documents ahead of a council meeting on June 6.
Submissions should be made in writing to chief executive Peter Brown, PO Box 511, Horsham, Victoria, 3400 or via email to coun[email protected]
People who wish to be heard in council on June 6 should indicate so in their submission.
Council staff will host a public information session at Wesley Performing Arts Centre on May 24 at 5.30pm.