Walcha Council has adopted the draft budget for 2017/18 which means a rate increase and an increase in waste charges.
“I submitted a balanced budget,” said Walcha Council general manager Jack O’Hara.
“To achieve that the maximum permissible general rate increase of 1.5% was incorporated which is a very modest rate rise.”
The Local Government Act, 1993 requires that waste management be treated as a separate function and that all monies raised are spent on the function with no cross subsidisation.
“The Act also requires that a separate charge be levied for the service,” said Mr O’Hara.
“The increases in waste charges for the next 12 months are approximately $0.44 per week for residential and commercial customers and $0.13 per week for rural customers.”
The Draft Budget provides for total operating expenses of $10,680,814 and total operating revenues of $14,494,507 which leaves an operating surplus of $813,693.
“When grants and contributions provided for capital purposes and additional ‘Roads to Recovery’ funding are excluded this result reverts to a surplus of $273,204,” Mr O’Hara explained.
“When capital items and depreciation are considered there is no movement in working funds.”
Once again the highlight of the budget is the extensive capital works programme with approximately $6 million to be spent on 30 major projects during the coming year.
“The rehabilitation of Upper Yarrowitch Road has been brought forward to commence in 2017/18,” Mr O’Hara said.
“It was deemed to be a more urgent priority than the Aberbaldie Road rehabilitation which will now be included in the 2018/19 works programme.”
Mr O’Hara said no new borrowing was proposed for this financial year.