|18 June 2010
At the Council meeting held on 17 June 2010, the Circular Head Council adopted the 2010/11 Annual Plan and Budget Estimates, announcing an average increase of 2.85 % for general rates.
The increase on the general rate is lower than the published Local Government cost index of 3.65%, and CPI of 2.90% for the same period.
Mayor Daryl Quilliam indicated "As always, our ongoing challenge is to balance the needs of our community, maintain the quality and level of services, and manage the ever increasing costs that Council must incorporate"
"The Council is mindful of the current economic climate and is determined to keep rate increases at a minimum for this coming year"
General Manager, Greg Winton said "This year's Budget sees an increase in the value of capital works to $4.3 mil; a variance of $1.0 mil compared to last year. This increase directly relates to the redevelopment of the Smithton Wharf, which is funded by the State, but will become Council's asset. The Budget provides for an operating surplus of $1.6 million with an underlying cash deficit of $278,000. Council has elected to draw down these funds from its cash reserves to fund storm damage works which occurred last financial year".
As highlighted in the last few budgets, future budgets are expected to become increasingly tighter. The current budget has confirmed this prediction. Uncertainty around the likely dividends flowing from Cradle Mountain Water into the future will also make the budgeting process even more difficult.
Mayor Quilliam acknowledged that a number of ratepayers may find it difficult to make early payment of the rate demand given the present financial climate. The Council allows a discount of 4% provided payment is received by 31 August and also offers a three instalment payment plan.
"Should a ratepayer be unable to meet a payment date, consideration will be given to special arrangements provided we receive the application prior to the due date" said Mayor Quilliam.
Significant expenditure items include:-
$1,000,000 for the redevelopment of the Smithton Wharf
$508,000 to upgrade Robert Street
$805,000 for the upgrade of Montagu Road between Airport & Cuba Road
$179,000 for the reconstruction of the Senior Citizens Carpark
$448,000 in various plant and equipment purchases
$230,000 to construct public toilets in Smith Street and Goldie Street
$30,000 for the development of Stage 2 of Smithton Skate Park
$200,000 for Remediation works at Tatlow's Beach Stanley
$97,000 for construction of a regional playground at West Esplanade
$60,000 for upgrade to facilities at While Hills Transfer Station
$35,500 to pipe open drain Main Road Stanley
$50,000 Park Road design and geotech
Rate notices will be distributed towards the end of July.
Authorised for general media distribution by Greg Winton, General Manager, Circular Head Council on Thursday, 17 June 2010.