Tuesday, July 23, 2019

Council rate rise recommended

A RATES increase of just under 4% will be recommended to councillors when the Derwent Valley Council holds a special meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) evening to set its budget for the coming year.

A draft budget with a 3.95% rates increase will be considered by councillors, following what former mayor Martyn Evans last week described as eight weeks of deliberations at budget workshops.

In a statement included with the budget papers, mayor Ben Shaw says the council is comfortable with what it is proposing in the new budget.

"We’ve balanced the need to address our ageing infrastructure but also with enough of a focus on investing for the future. Understanding the current financial situation of residents across the municipality we’ve approved a 3.95% increase in rates revenue," Cr Shaw said.

"This year’s budget contains a $10.31 million spend on infrastructure and capital works, partly funded by capital grants totalling $5.65 million and new borrowings of $1.5 million," Cr Shaw said. This includes:
  • $2.5 million Glenora Rd upgrade
  • $2.7 million roads and bridges program including Britten St; Wyre Forest Creek and Plenty Valley Rd bridges; and Stage 1 of works to Molesworth Rd.
"Even with this modest increase [in the general rate], this will be our biggest spend on major projects we’ve ever done in a single year. Other projects to be completed in the coming year include the community hall upgrade at Westerway; money set aside for the rehabilitation of the Peppermint Hill Landfill site; investment in council’s Integrated Business System and the long-awaiting Derwent Valley branding project."

Cr Shaw said the rates increase would be partially offset by a reduction in the waste management charge to Derwent Valley residents. Described as a contribution towards the future rehabilitation costs of the Peppermint Hill landfill site and the construction of a transfer station, this levy was last year increased from $56 to $85 per rateable property. The new budget proposes to reduce the charge to $60.

The council's budget meeting will be held in the New Norfolk Courthouse at 5.30pm tomorrow (Wednesday). As this is a Special Meeting, there is no provision for public question time. The budget documents can be downloaded here.

1 comment:

  1. "Mayor Ben Shaw says the council is comfortable with what it is proposing in the new budget." The endevour to aim for comfortable is a huge challenge. An exploration of the comfort for the rate payers is that the budget must not be seen in isolation. The campion dococuments which must reflect "show me the money" are the Annual Plan 2019/2020 & the Our Valley 2030.
    Council has an opportunity to demonstrate first hand its ability to facilitate, advocate, investage, promote, explore & collaborate not sure how this is translated into budget dollars.
    Keeping in mind "Even with this modest increase ( in general)" that $270,764 is needed for Plant Replacement, Quarry Operations up by $80,000 & with Roads Bridges & Footpaths not so comfortable if you have a gravel road no funds for 'Gravel Road Resheeting & blank for Roads depreciation & Bridges depreciation.
    There is some comfort in the fact that even though operating expenses for waste management are only UP by $187,105 there is money in the budget for Waste Task Force Project. I guess one could say there is a degree of comfort knowing that waste is part of Our Valley 2030 document is this Strategic Action 3 (3.3) 'Develop & manage a Waste Management Strategy that considers increased recycling and reuse opportunities, the reduction of single use plastic and improved tip shop 2024."
    Lets do the comfortable math gauge the good news is "A one (1) per cet general rate increase equats to &64,164" UP from 2018/19 $60,873) Therefore with the modest increase of .57% over the Local Gov't Index % 3.95 generates just over a 1/4 of a million dollars.
    So much more comfortable now knowing that might just cover plant replacement.

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