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Rates up 5% in the valley and 8.9% in the highlands

A RATES increase of 8.9% was set at this week’s Central Highlands Council meeting last Tuesday and a rise of 5% was approved at Thursday night’s Derwent Valley Council meeting.

The Central Highlands Council expects to raise $4.69 million from rates, with its total revenue expected to be $8.4m. A deficit of $139,000 is anticipated. The budget includes $100,000 for works at the Wayatinah Hall, $60,000 to advance the Hall of Industries project at the Hamilton Showground, and $20,000 for upgrades to access at the Ouse Hall. Several public conveniences will be upgraded, with $142,000 allocated for the Ellendale public toilets, $150,000 for the Ouse toilet and $41,000 for the Bronte Park facility.

The Central Highlands Council meeting last Tuesday.

The council has budgeted $2.8m for road construction and repairs, including $1.6m to continue the Thousand Acre Lane reconstruction. There is an allocation of $810,000 for recreation ground upgrades at Hamilton, Bothwell, Gretna and Ouse, including $350,000 for upgrades to the Gretna Cricket Club’s changerooms.

The council will continue its financial support for medical services at Bothwell and will continue to lobby for the reopening of services at Ouse. It will also continue its support of the Highlands Digest to enable it to provide community information to residents and visitors.

The Derwent Valley Council expects to raise $10.2 million from rates and charges, out of its total revenue of $17.7m. It forecasts a deficit of $1.08m and advice from a staff member warns that the council continues to have an “unhealthy cashflow position due to continual deficit budgets.”

The Derwent Valley Council’s meeting on Thursday night.

The Derwent Valley Council does not break down its budget in the same detail as the Central Highlands Council and it provides little information about the projects it funds. It shows that $3.5 million will be spent on roads and bridges but does not detail the allocation of the funds. It indicates work will be done on bridges at Lachlan, Back River Rd and over the River Derwent, and roadworks on Plenty Valley Rd, at Willow Court, Carter Court/Back River Rd, Glenora Rd, Lower Swamp Rd, a cemetery road and a Westerway car park.

It also budgets $1.2m for drainage works such as “Lachlan River Infrastructure”, “Stephen St Drainage”, “Esplanade outfall”, “Barracks drainage”, “Lachlan River climate change adaption options” and “Sorell Creek and Glen Dhu Flood Resilience”. The recreation budget of $370,000 will fund lights and cricket nets at Boyer Oval, Granton Reserve trees, and an unspecified playground; and $1.4m will be spent on council buildings.

See more Derwent Valley and Central Highlands news

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