Moyne minimises rate rise

MOYNE Shire Council has cut its 2014-2015 capital works program as part of a draft budget that sets a rate increase below the level forecast.

The draft budget proposes a $14.9 million capital works program, down from $20.6 million in the current financial year — which was boosted by carryover expenditure from previous years.

The council’s long-term financial plan had called for a rate increase of 5.75 per cent for the 2014-2015 financial year.

But councillors decided this week to propose a smaller rise of 4.9 per cent.

The draft budget proposes roads spending of $8.5 million and will give the council an underlying surplus of $750,000 at the end of the 2014-2015 financial year.

Moyne mayor James Purcell said he had opposed a number of the council’s budgets in the past but believed the 2014-2015 was one of the best.

Cr Purcell said he was pleased the budget contained no provision for extra council staff.

Among the capital works proposed in the draft budget are:

n construction of a Peterborough community meeting place ($114,000) and improvements to the Peterborough waste facility ($36,000);

n refurbishment of Hawkesdale swimming pool water treatment plant ($85,000), Hawkesdale and District Family Service Centre outdoor area improvements ($25,000), schematic design for Hawkesdale hall upgrade;

n construction of a new toilet block at the Kirkstall Recreation Reserve ($120,000);

n Port Fairy township entrance signage ($25,000) and further East Beach rock wall repairs to protect assets and the primary dune ($75,000);

n construction of new toilets at the Macarthur Bowls Club ($60,000), Macarthur entrance signage ($5000);

n Mortlake streetscape works stage two ($50,000) and refurbishment of the public toilets at D. C. Farran oval entrance ($20,000).

The draft budget also includes extra funding for a number of recurrent programs including: 

n extra resourcing to assist statutory planning and enforcement ($66,000);

n extra resourcing towards economic development activities for future growth of Moyne Shire ($60,000);

n increase in library funding for additional programs of two hours a week for each branch ($10,500); 

nallowance for maintenance of the Port Fairy-Warrnambool Rail Trail ($25,000). 

Submissions on the draft budget will be received until May 21.