WARRNAMBOOL'S proposed 4.5 per cent rates rise could be trimmed even further, a city councillor suggested as residents are urged to have their say on the draft budget.
Cr Jennifer Lowe has suggested a zero-to-CPI target to reduce the financial pain for ratepayers.
"We are commending this to the public to study and provide feedback," she said on Monday night.
After months of deliberations, detailed accounting and consultation, the council set a "conservative" target of generating $27.5 million in rates and charges for 2012-13 financial year to help deliver $57.6m of day-to-day services.
Its 4.5 per cent average rise is the lowest in a decade, following the current budget's 6.9 per cent rise and 6.87 per cent a year earlier.
A median price house in Warrnambool valued at $320,000 will attract a rates bill of $1440 down by $9 while a $450,000 house rates bill will be $1850 up by $10.
The impact of higher rates has been buffered by a lower waste management fee, down by $30, due to a better-than-expected new contract price for kerbside collections.
Mayor Jacinta Ermacora said achieving a 4.5 per cent rise had been difficult in a climate of rising costs.
"It's a roads budget to provide necessary infrastructure," she said. "There will also be a major power upgrade for the Friendly Societies Park and more money for the car parking fund."
Cr Michael Neoh said with much growth ahead a city-wide structure plan was needed to set out a vision for the next 30-40 years.
Community feedback is invited on the draft budget, which is available from the council offices or its website.