Council rate rise recommended

A RATES increase of just under 4% will be recommended to councillors when the Derwent Valley Council holds a special meeting tomorrow (Wednesday) evening to set its budget for the coming year.

A draft budget with a 3.95% rates increase will be considered by councillors, following what former mayor Martyn Evans last week described as eight weeks of deliberations at budget workshops.

In a statement included with the budget papers, mayor Ben Shaw says the council is comfortable with what it is proposing in the new budget.

“We’ve balanced the need to address our ageing infrastructure but also with enough of a focus on investing for the future. Understanding the current financial situation of residents across the municipality we’ve approved a 3.95% increase in rates revenue,” Cr Shaw said.

“This year’s budget contains a $10.31 million spend on infrastructure and capital works, partly funded by capital grants totalling $5.65 million and new borrowings of $1.5 million,” Cr Shaw said. This includes:

  • $2.5 million Glenora Rd upgrade
  • $2.7 million roads and bridges program including Britten St; Wyre Forest Creek and Plenty Valley Rd bridges; and Stage 1 of works to Molesworth Rd.

“Even with this modest increase [in the general rate], this will be our biggest spend on major projects we’ve ever done in a single year. Other projects to be completed in the coming year include the community hall upgrade at Westerway; money set aside for the rehabilitation of the Peppermint Hill Landfill site; investment in council’s Integrated Business System and the long-awaiting Derwent Valley branding project.”

Cr Shaw said the rates increase would be partially offset by a reduction in the waste management charge to Derwent Valley residents. Described as a contribution towards the future rehabilitation costs of the Peppermint Hill landfill site and the construction of a transfer station, this levy was last year increased from $56 to $85 per rateable property. The new budget proposes to reduce the charge to $60.

The council’s budget meeting will be held in the New Norfolk Courthouse at 5.30pm tomorrow (Wednesday). As this is a Special Meeting, there is no provision for public question time. The budget documents can be downloaded here.

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