Maroondah City Council has adopted its 2019/20 Budget and long-term financial plan for the municipality, following a period of community consultation.
Councillors unanimously adopted the Council Plan: 2017-2021 (2019/20 Update) and 2019/20 Budget at a meeting on Monday 20 May 2019.
Maroondah Mayor, Councillor Rob Steane, said the documents outlined how Council would deliver on a number of key projects and initiatives, based on an extensive $28.76 million capital works program, as well as build on the initial work completed over the last financial year.
“This Budget has been developed through a rigorous process of consultation and an internal review by Councillors, management and employees. The submissions we received from the public and the consideration of those submissions by Council form an integral part of the public consultation process,” Cr Steane said.
“The result is a Budget that ensures continuity of our 120-plus services and programs, longevity for Council’s $1.57 billion in net assets, delivery of $28.76 million in extensive capital projects and a financially sustainable and affordable future for our ratepayers, with a modest underlying operating surplus of $4.87 million,” he said.
The newly adopted 2019/20 Budget allocates funding for 20 major initiatives, as identified in the newly adopted Council Plan.
Among these include finalising the design for the $15 million Karralyka redevelopment (subject to funding); commencing the redevelopment of the $6 million Jubilee Park Sporting Precinct, and delivering on the $4.25 million revitalisation of the HE Parker Sporting Pavilion.
The Council Plan and Budget will also set the scene for a number of key advocacy priorities and projects over the coming year for Council.
These include undertaking a municipal-wide review of Council’s neighbourhood character and heritage controls; finalising the Maroondah Vegetation Review; and advocating to the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments for provision of new and upgraded major transportation infrastructure, including upgrades to arterial roads and intersections.
Cr Steane said Council’s financial management and awareness of the rising cost of living facing ratepayers meant that the average property rate rise would be capped at 2.5 per cent, as determined by the Minister for Local Government in December 2018, in line with CPI (Consumer Price Index).
“This means properties under the average will pay less and those over the average will pay more depending on the value of their property. The waste service charge for 2019/20, incorporating kerbside collection and recycling, will not be increased,” he said.
“The annual Budget is based on a major review of the Council’s long-term financial strategy. That strategy now shows that over the next 12 months Council will manage with a modest annual rate increase, no additional borrowings, strong capital expenditure and renewal of existing assets, all while maintaining current service levels,” Cr Steane added.
Rates: The average property rate will increase by 2.5% for the 2019/20 year. The total rate income for this financial year is budgeted to be $76.88 million, plus $14.76 million generated from the annual service waste charge (waste charge has been capped and will not increase). This general rate increase is in line with the rate cap set by the Minister for Local Government.
Community services: $91.65 million (generated through rates and waste service charge) for the continued delivery of a wide range of services to the community including family and health services, home and community care, recreational and leisure, arts and cultural services, libraries, and maintenance of parks and gardens, drains, footpaths and roads.
Key advocacy priorities and projects: Includes a municipal-wide review of neighbourhood character and heritage controls; finalising the Maroondah Vegetation Review; plan and implement carparking improvements in the Ringwood Metropolitan Activity Centre and Croydon Activity Centre, and advocating to the Commonwealth and Victorian Governments for provision of new and upgraded major transportation infrastructure, including upgrades to arterial roads and intersections.
Council Plan priority action initiatives and Budget major initiatives
- Complete $3.5m Silcock Sporting Pavilion redevelopment in Croydon
- Complete $4.25m redevelopment HE Parker Sporting Pavilion
- Complete $6m Jubilee Sporting Precinct redevelopment
- Commence the $5m Springfield Sporting redevelopment
- Commence the $3.25m Proclamation Park Sporting Pavilion redevelopment
- Commence the $12m Dorset Recreation Reserve redevelopment (subject to additional external funding)
- Undertake a strategic review of shopping centres in Maroondah and develop a Community Shopping Centre Strategy
- Plan and deliver Croydon library integrated Customer Service Project and part of the Croydon Community Precinct redevelopment
- Implement new public art across Maroondah in accordance with Council’s Public Art Policy
- Commence the $15m Karralyka redevelopment (subject to additional external funding)
- Work in partnership to undertake renewal works on the Mullum Mullum and Dandenong Creek shared trail
- Undertake the renewal of New Street in Ringwood, including flood mitigation works, between Maroondah Highway and Sylvia Grove
- Complete the Lincoln Road upgrade, east of Dorset Road, Croydon
- Work in partnership to implement the Greening the Greyfields Project to facilitate a sustainable approach to urban redevelopment in identified residential precincts
- Commence preparation of a new Croydon Structure Plan
- Commence the Croydon Community Precinct development
- Work in partnership to implement the Tarralla Creek Connects project
- Investigate and implement additional female changing facilities at local sporting venues
- Update Council’s administrative facilities
- Engage the community in undertaking an interim review of Maroondah 2040: Our future together