Council has started a statutory process to renew the St Albans Town Centre Special Rate Scheme, which was first introduced in 2014 to fund marketing, promotions and business development activities and initiatives in the town centre.
The renewal of the St Albans Special Rate is in response to a request from the St Albans Business Group Association Incorporated (SABGAI) to renew the special rate for a further five years.
Council proposes to declare the Special Rate scheme for a further five and a half years, starting on 1 January 2019 and ending on 30 June 2024, raising over $700,000.
Brimbank Mayor Cr Margaret Giudice said the renewal of the special rate is for the purpose of marketing, promotions, business development and other incidental expenses associated with the encouragement and development of commerce and trade in the Centre.
‘Business operators in St Albans town centre have told us that the special rate scheme has helped promote business development.
“The proceeds of the existing special rate have funded a program of marketing, promotions and businesses development initiatives that are raising the profile of St Albans and creating economic activity.
“The special rate has supported a program of marketing, promotions and business activities including the St Albans Lunar Festival, Moon Lantern Festival, participation in the Melbourne Food and Wine Festival, website development and other marketing including social media.
“Council expects the renewal of the St Albans Special Rate will continue to boost commerce and activity and improve the profile of the area, together with the other activities that Council pursues to develop the centre,” Cr Giudice said.
The proceeds of the Special Rate are provided to the SABGAI to be spent on marketing and business development initiatives for the St Albans Town Centre. This occurs in accordance with a funding agreement between Council and the SABGAI.
In accordance with the statutory process to declare a new Special Rate, Council will advertise a public notice in the local paper on 29 May 2018 and send a copy of the public notice to all property owners and occupiers effected by the proposed Special Rate to advise of its intent to declare the new rate.
Owners and occupiers of the properties that will be liable to pay the proposed Special Rate can make a submission in favour of or objection to the scheme to Council. A hearing of submissions will be held in accordance with section 223 of the Local Government Act 1989 to hear submissions and objections, before Council makes a final decision on the matter at its Ordinary Council Meeting in August 2018.