By Robert Muir
Any submissions from the public regarding Federation Council’s 2019/20 budget will be received up to Thursday, June 20.
Council’s budget-related documentation includes an updated Delivery Program, Operational Plan and Long Term Financial Plan to deliver on the Community Strategic Plan 2018-2028 - Our Community Our Opportunity.
It sets out council’s immediate priorities for the year commencing July 2019 via the Operational Plan’s proposed actions.
Federation Council Mayor Pat Bourke said this will be the fourth year of operation as a merged council.
He said council will continue to work with local community members, organisations and State and Federal counterparts to deliver many significant community projects across the Federation Council area including (figures in some cases include partner funding and are estimated budgets):
Corowa Swimming Pool $9.5 million (total estimated budget);
Howlong Multipurpose Hall $1.6 million;
Urana Aquatic Leisure Centre Building $935,000;
Mulwala All Abilities Playground at Purtle Park $809,000;
Bangerang Park Corowa - Playground upgrades and renewal works $650,000;
Corowa Skate Park renewal $453,000;
Mulwala, Lonsdale Reserve Bay 13 upgrade and continuing with Master-plan works - $200,000 approximately; and
Oaklands Medical Centre $614,000 (Purchase and renovations).
“The proposed operating budget will provide resources to continue the range of services that our communities expect, including maintaining roads and bridges, collecting and disposing of waste, providing water and sewerage services to our homes, supporting various committees including the Federation Youth Council and Arts and Culture Committee, continuing the $60,000 Community Grants Program and providing a mobile preschool service and libraries to our town centres,” Mayor Bourke said.
In addition to significant community infrastructure projects to be delivered, council is also set to focus on delivering a $37 million capital works program which includes:
$12.9 million Road improvements;
$3.3 million Corowa-Mulwala Trail;
$1.5million for development of land at the Howlong Industrial Estate;
$500,000 for improvements to the Corowa Saleyards;
$25,000 to commence implementation of the recently adopted Ageing Well Strategy;
$150,000 to conduct urgent rectification works at the Ball Park Caravan Park;
$140,000 into flood plain risk management a Daysdale; and
$185,000 contribution towards the Mulwala, Howlong and Corowa Flood Study.
Mayor Bourke said a balanced budget has been developed “to ensure that we live within our means”.
“The budget council has prepared provides a small underlying surplus of $15,000 for the general fund, a very small underlying surplus of $1,000 for the domestic waste fund and an underlying surplus of $937,000 for the water fund and $369,000 for the sewerage fund,” he said.
“These water and sewerage surpluses will be retained in our reserves to deliver new upgraded infrastructure in future years.”
The budget includes a 2.7% rate increase across all rating categories. This is at the level set as a cap by the State Government. Council has proposed to maintain a 2.7% increase to water prices, 2.7% increase to sewerage prices and the waste facility/environmental levy will remain unchanged at $45 per property.
Mayor Bourke said council was looking forward to undertaking two key financial projects to underpin council’s financial sustainably as the new organization grows into the future.
“Council is committed to the reviewing of our rates to harmonise rates across our municipality and determine the distribution of rates between property owners,” Mayor Bourke.
“Also the reviewing of our long term financial planning to ensure we have a robust comprehensive plan that factors in the expected cost of renewing our extensive infrastructure such as our roads, bridges, playgrounds and community halls, and the expected cost of delivering the extensive range of services including our libraries, preschools, parks and gardens, town streetscapes, street lighting, water and sewerage, garage collection will be a crucial focus over the next 12-month period.”
Workshops to share the budget details with community members, and seek feedback will be held as at 6.00pm as follows:
Wednesday, June 5 – Howlong Golf Resort at 6pm.
Thursday, June 6 – Urana Bowling Club.
Tuesday, June 11 – Corowa RSL Club.
Wednesday, June 12 – Oaklands Bowls Club.
Thursday, June 13 – Mulwala Civic Centre.
Council invites feedback on the draft documents from all interested stakeholders and members of the community. The draft plans are now on public exhibition and available for download from Council’s website or they can be viewed at any council office.
Submissions are welcomed until 5.00pm on Thursday 20 June and should be addressed to the General Manager, PO Box 77, Corowa NSW 2646 or emailed to [email protected]