Murray River Council has adopted its draft 2021/22 Operational Plan and Budget, which includes a $34.522 million capital works program.
Council is now calling for public feedback on the draft document, along with the draft Long-Term Financial Strategy, Four Year Delivery Program and draft Revenue Policy.
Road, footpath and bridge renewal account for the majority of the projected spend, with asset management and service delivery also influencing the budget forecast.
“We are right in the middle of a service review program which is looking at asset management plans, service delivery and resourcing,” Mayor Cr Chris Bilkey said.
“Once complete we will be able to more accurately plan where we are going with services, assets and maintenance in the longer term.”
“As such, we are delivering a carefully considered budget whilst we await the outcomes of these reviews.”
Cr Bilkey said the outcomes of such reviews will be built into the 2022/23 budget onwards.
“Until then, we are confident this budget strikes a balance between fulfilling existing levels of service, continuing delivery of community projects and remaining flexible enough to consider outcomes of our service review,” he said.
The 21/22 draft budget estimates an operating revenue of $56.336 million and operating expenses of $49.358 million for the coming year.
Of the $34.522 million in capital funding required, $18.350 million will come from Council operations and reserves, $13.299 million from capital grants and contributions, with the balance funded by other contributions and new borrowings.
The draft budget is based on a total rate revenue increase of the pegged 2.0% in ordinary rates.
Key areas of spend for the 21/22 year include:
• $2.073m regional roads
• $1.402m local roads
• $6.021m rural roads
• $4.160m bridges
• $1.930m stormwater and levee management
• $1.199m water supply services
• $2.601m waste management
• $4.230m Economic Development activities
Some of the larger projects earmarked in the capital spend include a council-wide landfill strategy, Moama Pre-School development, town levees in Moulamein, council-wide installation of LED Street Lights, reseals and heavy patching across the council and the rehabilitation of several remaining timber bridges.
“We encourage people to look at the documents that outline our areas of spend and have a say on how their rates and charges are allocated.”
Cr Bilkey said while this budget accounts for planned projects and services, council will continue to seek grant funding for ongoing development and projects.
“As we continue to manage the effects of rapid residential growth, we will continue to call on the State and Federal Governments for support to ensure we can deliver the facilities and services our community deserves,” he said.
The draft documents are available for public comment until 10 June and can be viewed online at yoursay.murrayriver.nsw.gov.au
Following the exhibition period, a meeting of council will be held at the end of June to consider any submissions prior to formally adopting the budget.