A MASSIVE overhaul of Hamilton airport and the city’s livestock exchange will be paid for with a 6.5 per cent rate hike under a draft budget passed this week.
Southern Grampians Shire has put forward a lengthy capital works program including:
n $2.6 million on the Hamilton airport development and maintenance works;
n $5.7 million on roads, footpaths, bridges and drainage; and
n $470,000 on the Hamilton Regional Livestock Exchange redevelopment design and construction works.
The shire will also throw $255,000 at the skate park facelift and another $114,500 on safety resurfacing of the Hamilton Indoor Leisure and Aquatic Centre. New competition lights at Melville Oval are also expected to cost $430,000.
The council will also contribute $90,000 towards Peter’s Project.
In a council statement, mayor Albert Calvano defended the need for the rate rise.
“This level will allow us to maintain existing service levels, fund the new initiatives outlined above and continue to allocate substantial funds to renew the shire’s ageing infrastructure,” Cr Calvano said.
Rates had risen by six percent in the council’s previous budget. Councillors will vote on the draft budget at a special meeting on June 25.
Copies of the draft budget are available through the council.