Council endorses draft budget for public exhibition

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Indigo Shire Council’s draft budget 2022/23 is now on public exhibition with the community invited to review the document, and make a submission by 7 June.

The draft budget is one of a suite of strategic documents that Council has endorsed and placed on exhibition for the next three weeks.

In presenting the draft, Mayor Bernard Gaffney said Council has worked hard to deliver a budget that meets the targets set in its Long-Term Financial Plan and keeps Council sustainable, not just for the next 12 months, but for the next ten years.

It is proposed that residential rates be increased by 1.75% (Victorian Government rate cap) and increases in fees and charges be generally in line with the rate increase

The draft budget includes a $16.7M capital works program, made up of $7.6M in new project allocations and $9.1M in projects already funded but are being carried forward into 2022/23.

“A significant portion of the carry forward funds is associated with the completion of large multi-year grant-funded projects including the Chiltern Community Hub, Beechworth to Yackandandah Rail Trail and the EPIC Mountain Bike trail,” Cr Gaffney said.

The draft budget also includes funds to commence the Rutherglen Wine Walk Cycle Trail which has attracted $5.1M in Federal Government grant funding.

“We’re proposing to spend $2.5M on maintaining and upgrading the Shire’s roads, bridges, pathways and drains and we plan to spend almost $1M on maintaining our parks and gardens. The draft budget also includes over $500K for trees, which includes replacement and new plantings.”

Next year, work will commence on a tree canopy strategy which is a Council Plan action item to ensure that Council is planning strategically for the future, and that it continues to plant trees for a range of reasons including mitigation against climate change.

There’ll be an additional $100K spent on drainage improvements, bringing Council’s investment in urban and rural drains to more than $500K.

Calls from the community for improvements to Sir Isaacs Park in Yackandandah, in particular the public toilets will be addressed through the development of the Shire’s first fully accessible restrooms. Council secured $110,000 under the Victorian Government’s Changing Places program and will contribute $234,000 in the 2022-23 budget towards construction.

All strategic documents can be viewed on Council’s website along with a draft budget highlights presentation together with information on how to make a formal submission.

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