Wednesday, June 26, 2013

yarra ranges budget endorsed for 13/14

report from the roundtable – 25 jun

At this week’s council meeting we had to consider the adoption of the budget for 2013/14.  The budget was adopted unanimously by council (note Cr Cox and McAllister were absent).

In speaking in consideration of the motion I talked about some councillors who were elected on a platform of no rate or low rate rises. This budget, at a rate increase of 4.8%, has not been able to realise that outcome nor the same level of rate rise as last year’s budget of 4.2%.

However I believe that is recognition by councillors of significant cost pressures we are facing and the continued cost shifting by state government to local government.

As part of our budget deliberations we still need to take into account the capping of many of our fees and charges by state government meaning that we can’t recover the cost for the services we provide. We continue to see an erosion of funding for specific purpose grants, so the money received doesn’t keep pace with the cost to provide the service, libraries and school crossing supervisors are two examples that spring to mind.

All of this is also framed by being the collection agent for the Landfill Levy which we still don’t see applied to local initiatives to reduce waste and work toward zero waste goals. And this time round we will also be the collection agent for the Fire Services Levy and I have no doubt we will be in the firing line over this even though it is a state government levy and they should be the ones collecting it.

I’m pleased to report that Lyster Ward initiatives endorsed as part of our capital program for 2013/14 include:
$60,000         Drainage works on Blair Rd, Belgrave
$25,000         Bus Stop works Belgrave Hallam Rd, Belgrave
$20,000         Footpath construction works, Station St, Belgrave
$50,000         Construction of View Rd, Belgrave (as part of a special charge scheme)
$112,000       Continuation of the shared trail from Lysterfield to Belgrave
$53,900         Continued work on the Feasibility study for the Belgrave Hub
$100,000       Footpath construction works, Kallista-Emerald Rd, The Patch

This is along with the projects outlined in my blog story when the budget went on exhibition. You can read more about them here.

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