Corangamite Shire’s $49.4 million 2020-2021 Draft Budget includes no rate rise for ratepayers and will deliver a $2.5 million coronavirus recovery package for the local economy.
After being debt free for two years and running surpluses since 2010-2011, Council has managed to meet the challenging times with only a small, $120,000 operating deficit.
Mayor Neil Trotter said the Draft Budget was a carefully considered response to unprecedented situation created by the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
“We are acutely aware of the severe effect the restrictions implemented to control coronavirus have had on businesses and residents right across our Shire.
“The impacts could be long-lasting so this Draft Budget provides for a $2.5 million recovery fund to help our community and economy recover, which means jobs and security for our residents.
“Council has also resolved to have a 0% average increase in rates for 2020-2021, to alleviate the financial stress on households.
“After many, many hours of work by Council Officers, and much debate between Councillors, we have come up with a document that balances empathy for ratepayers with the financial needs of delivering essential services.
A large number of projects have been cut from current and future year budgets to help pay for the 0% rate rise and recovery fund. Council will also be drawing down on its cash reserves.
“We will actively advocate for Federal and State funding to help our communities through this difficult time and to continue with work such as the Twelve Apostles Trail,” Cr Trotter said.
“The waste management charge will increase by 4.72% or $16.20 per property reflecting an increase cost of service provision.
The proposed budget allocates $14.03 million for new assets, upgrades and renewals.
Highlights of the budget include:
- Roads ($6.40 million) – including rehabilitation, roads to recovery projects, resheeting and resealing.
- COVID-19 Recovery Fund ($2.5 million)
- Recreation and leisure ($2.29 million) – including $2.22 million for Stage 1 construction of the Twelve Apostles trail.
Existing community grants programs will continue to be funded:
- Quick Response Grants $17,500
- Community Grants Funding $50,000
- Community Planning township allocations $30,000
- CBD Façade Improvement Program $50,000
- Facility Grants $50,000
- Environment Support Grants $30,000
- Events & Festival Funding $40,000
- Business Innovation Grant Program $50,000
The Events and Festivals Program will be run when there is more clarity around the future of COVID-19 restrictions.
Cr Trotter said Council remained committed to maintaining local roads and advocating to the State and Federal Governments for improvements to the arterial road network.
“This draft budget allocates $6.4 million to road rehabilitation, roads to recovery projects, resheeting and resealing,” he said. “Some of the major road projects include widening and rehabilitation of Wiridgil Road ($445,000) and rehabilitation of East Hill Road ($427,000), Linton Road ($399,000) and Terang-Framlingham Road ($325,000).
Council will continue to provide a range of services to its community, such as aged and disability, and early years including Family Day Care, immunisation, kindergartens, Maternal and Child Health, and Mobile Child Care.
The Mayor encouraged residents to get a copy of the draft budget and have their say. It can be downloaded here. Hard copies are also available by calling Council on 5593 7100.
Anyone wishing to make a submission on the proposed budget must do so in writing, addressed to Chief Executive Officer, Corangamite Shire Council, PO Box 84 Camperdown, 3260. You can also complete a submission here. Written and online submissions must be received before 5 pm on 9 June 2020.
Anyone making a submission may request that they (or their representative) appear in person to present in support of their submission. Presentations will be by videoconference to a committee of Council from 10 am on Tuesday 9 June. Any requests to present received after this time and before submissions close, will be heard on Tuesday 16 June.