Swan Hill Rural City Council’s 2020/21 draft budget will be delivered with a 1.86 per cent average rate rise.
Mayor Bill Moar said the draft budget was being considered now, but might be revised later in the year after the implications of coronavirus are better known.
“We need to support local businesses and individuals, and take into account that our revenue will be down due to coronavirus,” Cr Moar said.
“The challenge is that we are still in the thick of this pandemic – we do not know what the full impacts will be on our local businesses, community groups and individuals,” he said.
“We have proposed a reduced rate for commercial ratepayers and have worked to keep the overall rate increase low, at the same time as maintaining services for the community as best we can.”
Cr Moar said the draft budget included major spending on roads and large-scale projects that had either received State or Federal funding, or were awaiting news of funding applications.
“In 2020/21 we will spend almost $6 million to rebuild and upgrade roads and footpaths. This includes major reconstruction projects funded through the Federal Roads to Recovery program on Campbell Street and Naretha Street in Swan Hill, and Pira Road at Nyah West,” he said.
“We will be able to deliver on the much-awaited Robinvale levee project and the Robinvale netball upgrades.
“The draft budget also allocates $510,000 for projects in smaller communities across the municipality – through their community planning process and from the recently announced Vibrant Villages project.”
Cr Moar said the draft budget included a reduced rate for commercial ratepayers in Swan Hill and Robinvale, who were some of the first and most obvious impacted by coronavirus social distancing and restrictions. He said Council would also consider additional ways to support businesses most affected.
“The reduced Commercial rate will mean, on average, commercial ratepayers in Swan Hill and Robinvale will pay about 10 per cent less than this year,” he said.
Dry land farming properties will also benefit from an increase in their discounted rate to compensate for continuing above average property value increases.
Rubbish and recycling collection charges will increase – primarily due to the increasing cost to process recycling – to $335 for a 120 litre garbage bin and $508 for a 240 litre garbage bin. The greenwaste collection charge will stay at $95 for those who opt in.
The draft budget is now available at www.swanhill.vic.gov.au/yoursay or by contacting Council offices. Community members can provide feedback online or in writing to the Chief Executive Officer, Swan Hill Rural City Council, PO Box 488, Swan Hill VIC 3585. Comment must be received by 29 June.
Thursday, 28 May – Draft budget released and public comment open
Monday, 29 June at 4pm – Submissions to the draft budget close
Tuesday, 7 July – Special Council Meeting to receive and hear submissions. If no submissions are received, Council will look to adopt the budget at this meeting.
Tuesday, 14 July – Special Council Meeting. If submissions are received, Council will consider submissions at this meeting.
Tuesday, 21 July – Ordinary Council Meeting where Council will look to adopt the budget if not done so beforehand.
Community highlights for 2020/21
* Indicates total project cost is conditional on external funding
Manangatang swimming pool upgrade $120,000*
Lake Boga equestrian facility development $81,000*
Pira Road reconstruction – 2.4km from Station Street towards Pira (a Roads to Recovery project) $422,000*
Replace water heating system at Nyah swimming pool $20,000
Town levee construction $900,000*
New netball courts $640,000*
Netball courts lighting $370,000*
Stormwater pipeline and pump $40,000
Our Place building commence construction $4,250,210*
Upgrading drainage main Pritchard Street $400,000
Swan Hill Landfill upgrades and compliance work $252,000
Swan Hill Motorplex building updates $200,000*
Swan Hill Aerodrome terminal building refurbishment, lighting and runway reconstruction $2,780,000*
Campbell Street road reconstruction, from Nyah Road to Pritchard Street (a Roads to Recovery project)
Naretha Street road reconstruction (a Roads to Recovery project)
Indented car parking spaces on Yana Street $60,000
Total road upgrades $5.9 million*
Implementation of community plans and delivery of Vibrant Villages projects (Woorinen, Ultima, Manangatang, Lake Boga, Boundary Bend, Piangil, Beverford, Nyah and Nyah West) $445,000*
Library book purchases $150,000*