The City of Ballarat 2019/20 Budget and Strategic Resource Plan were officially adopted by Council at a Special Council Meeting this evening.
All community feedback on the Draft Budget, including submissions and presentations made to Council at a Special Council Meeting last week, were considered during its development.
This year’s budget is the third budget for this Council’s four-year term and has been produced in line with the Council Plan 2017-2022 to determine what projects, services, events and other initiatives will be funded and delivered in the coming financial year.
City of Ballarat Mayor Samantha McIntosh said the budget included key projects for Ballarat’s future.
“Prudent financial management over the past two years has improved the City of Ballarat’s financial sustainability.
“Pleasingly, this has enabled us to support several bold projects that respond to Ballarat’s present rate of growth and stay ahead of the growth to come, while also continuing to deliver on the services which our ratepayers expect,” Mayor McIntosh said.
“This includes $15 million over the next three years for stage one Bridge Mall and Bakery Hill precinct works, including reopening of the Bridge Mall.”
Other highlights include:
Ballarat Central Library – $1.9 million over two years towards its first major refurbishment since it was opened in 1994. Works will include a new dedicated children’s space, repositioning of the front entrance to Civic Hall and the removal of the Market Street weigh bridge to expand onsite parking.
$2 million for Civic Hall stage two works, including a commercial kitchen and stage upgrades to enable the venue to attract a broader range of events.”
$3.5 million has been allocated to the installation of energy efficient LED street lighting across Ballarat over four years.
Facilities maintenance boosted by $1 million over the next two years.
An additional $500,000 for trees every year for 10 years to give us genuine capital to deliver on the urban forest strategy and the aim of a 40 per cent tree canopy.
A $59 million allocation to City of Ballarat’s core capital program for new infrastructure within the city’s network of roads, drainage, bridges and footpaths.
A new policy which will see a minimum of 30 per cent of rate revenue dedicated to core capital works, allowing more capacity in the budget.
However, despite the ongoing challenges, Cr McIntosh said the 2019/20 Budget achieved a good balance between delivering key community projects and providing exceptional services in-line with community expectations.
Cr McIntosh thanked the community for their feedback during the various consultation phases of the 2019/20 Budget.