Council adopts budget at 2.5 % rate cap
Council’s 2016-2017 Annual Budget meets the State Government’s legislated cap of 2.5 per cent rates rise and is focussed on delivering value to the community.
Brimbank City Council’s 2016-2017 Annual Budget meets the State Government’s legislated cap of 2.5 per cent rates rise and is focussed on delivering value to the community, Chair of Brimbank Administrators John Watson said.
“Council has worked to minimise the impact of the constraint on revenue raising while continuing to deliver quality projects and services for the Brimbank community,” he said.
“The Budget in its draft form was open for consultation and the Council received six written submissions. We greatly valued the feedback received which was mainly to do with our ongoing parks and open space programs and referred the requests accordingly.”
“This is a financially responsible budget that has a total expenditure (recurrent and capital works) of $243.2 million. Council maintains a healthy capital works program of $57.3 million - including $4.8 million carried over from 2015/2016.”
Key Budget Highlights
$5.57 million for the continuing upgrade of town centres, which includes improvements to pavements, landscaping, street furniture and pedestrian links
$20.58 million on roads, footpaths, drainage upgrades , pedestrian facilities and links
$5.1 million on community facilities and early learning facilities and $2.2 million earmarked for the Keilor Community Hub
$2.73 million for parks, playgrounds and open space; which includes more than $1.2 million in park and playground upgrades and renewal with significant works scheduled at Delahey Reserve (stage 2 upgrade) and Delbridge Reserve in Sydenham
$2.12 million on sports facilities including the $1.2 million Ardeer soccer pavilion
$1.07 million on walking and cycling paths which includes the Taylors Creek recreational trail
$740,000 investment in sustainability initiatives to reduce future costs
and $800,000 for library books.
Further Efficiencies to Meet Cap
Council had to find further efficiencies of $6.5 million to meet the State Government imposed 2.5 per cent rate cap. The additional pensioner discount of $25 off the rates bill is an ongoing commitment and remains in place.
“Council has struck a balance between maintaining current levels of service, reducing operational costs and reviewing the way some programs are delivered. This will become increasingly difficult in future budgets.”
“For example, Council is reducing operating costs by leaving some staffing positions vacant – while this will have an impact operationally it will not affect direct care services. Our sustainability program including installing energy saving light bulbs across the City is saving money as is consolidating the four Council offices into the new Brimbank Community and Civic Centre with space for tenant partners which will bring in income and reduce costs.
“Council will continue to seek further efficiencies while continuing to deliver services our community depends on and contribute to making Brimbank a great place to live, work and visit,” Mr Watson said.