Indigo Shire Council will consider its draft Budget for 2019/20 at the April 30 Council meeting.
The draft budget outlines a total operating income of $34.538 million with total expenditure of $30.085 million, including a $10.76 million capital works program, and an underlying cash surplus over two years.
Indigo Shire Mayor Cr Bernard Gaffney said the draft budget sets out a financially sound path for Indigo Shire Council whilst still delivering key projects and initiatives for the community.
“We’re pleased to present the draft budget which continues to deliver a range of quality services for Indigo Shire residents, from roads and infrastructure to maternal and child health services, libraries, environment and waste services and much more,” said Cr Gaffney.
Highlights of the draft budget include:
- $10.76 million in capital works including upgrades to roads, drainage and footpaths
- More than $800,000 in sport and recreation facility upgrades
- Removal of spectator fees at Indigo Shire’s five swimming pools
- $430,000 for road resealing across Indigo Shire
- $110,000 for the Beechworth Railway Goods Shed refurbishment
- $160,000 towards the Chiltern Flood Study
- $110, 000 on Indigo Creek Park public toilets in Barnawartha
Cr Gaffney said the delivery of cycling infrastructure is a cornerstone of the draft budget.
“We’re getting on with the delivery of cycling infrastructure across Indigo Shire, with $200,000 for the construction of the Beechworth to Yackandandah Mountain Bike Trail between Osborne’s Flat and Beechworth and $130,000 for stage three of the Wahgunyah to Lake Moodemere cycle trail. We’ve also allocated $1 million over two years towards the delivery of the Epic Mountain Bike Trail matching the Federal Government grant contribution.
“The draft budget also proposes funding for a number of key community projects including $220,000 to purchase land in Tangambalanga to open up access to the Kiewa River, $30,000 to develop a shire-wide Trails Strategy, and $15,000 to implement the findings of the Council Committees review,” said Cr Gaffney.
In line with the rate cap for the 2019/20 financial year, Indigo Shire Council’s draft budget proposes a rate increase of 2.5 per cent.
“As a small rural Council, one of the biggest challenges in putting together our draft budget each year is the need to find savings to meet the impact of continued rate capping in conjunction with an increasing demand for services. It is important to note that, for many Council projects, we rely on external funding and this is reflected in the draft budget, with $6.359 million in grants and contributions to fund our capital works program.
“We hope this draft budget offers the best quality of services for our community whilst maintaining a sound financial position for Council in the years to come,” said Cr Gaffney.
Cr Gaffney encouraged all residents to view the draft budget and make a submission.
“For the first time, the draft budget shows income and expenditure at the service level. This is a new level of transparency and accountability in the budget planning process at Indigo Shire Council and we believe this, combined with thorough community engagement, will ultimately result in better scrutiny and understanding and therefore improved outcomes for the community,” Cr Gaffney said.
The draft budget will be considered at the Council meeting on Tuesday 30 April.
Pending Council endorsement, the community will be able to comment on the draft budget until 31 May 2019.
A final version will be considered by Council at the June 25 ordinary council meeting.
To view the draft budget agenda item for the 30 April Council meeting go to www.indigoshire.vic.gov.au/agendas