Friday, June 26, 2015

Council rates up 4%

A RATES increase of 4% for the 2015/16 financial year was approved at a special meeting of the Derwent Valley Council last night. "Discussions around rates this year were were particularly hard," Mayor Martyn Evans said.

"Council has to balance the needs and aspirations of the community against the community’s ability to sustain a rate increase. This combined with changes to funding through the Financial Assistance Grants and other changes have had an impact on Council’s finances," Cr Evans said.

Major items funded in the budget include:

  • Improvements to the amenities at the New Norfolk and Bushy Park Pools;
  • Safety measures at Tynwald Park, New Norfolk
  • Outdoor gym equipment at Gleeson Park, Lachlan
  • Roadworks at the top end of Blair St, New Norfolk
  • Installation of a footpath on Lachlan Rd, Lachlan (near the shop)
  • Implementation of the council’s STEPS Plan. 

"The STEPS Plan will form the basis of Council’s strategies for improvements around the municipal area over the coming years. We have been working on this document, with input from focus groups and the public for the last 18 months, and are now at a stage where we will be starting to implement some of the recommendations," Cr Evans said.

"There are a number of smaller projects that council contributes to such as the CWA Water Awareness Program, partnership in the Tree2Sea Project and support for council’s Special Committees that work on specific projects," he said.

Cr Evans said the rates increase of 4% represented about $50 per year for most properties. "Council continues to look at innovative ways of resource sharing to ensure that rate increases are kept to a minimum. This year council has undertaken an arrangement with Brighton Council to accept refuse from their municipal area, the fee for this will offset the running and environmental costs associated with the Peppermint Hill Refuse area.  This will provide a long term saving to ratepayers in the Derwent Valley," Cr Evans said.

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