A footpath replacement program which uses the bulk of the extra $655,000 Warrnambool's council will collect in rates this year has come in under budget.
About $404,000 was allocated for the footpath works, but during the tender process it was revealed the city's footpath replacement wish list would be cheaper than anticipated, coming in at $340,000.
The savings will be used to help clear the council's backlog of asset renewal projects by increasing the number of footpaths to be upgraded.
The extra rate revenue comes from the Essential Services Commission-approved two per cent increase above the State Government-imposed 2.5 per cent cap.
That funding has been earmarked for projects including:
- repairs to 40 sections of footpath around the city,
- playgrounds in Dennington and Wesak Drive and
- Hopkins River bridge renewal.
The rate cap increase cost the average residential ratepayer an extra $31 a year on top of the capped increase of $38.
Councillors voted unanimously to accept the tender for the footpath works at Monday's public meeting.
Mayor Tony Herbert said he was happy that it came in under budget and the council could extend the number of footpaths that would be replaced.
He said the rate cap variation was unpopular in some people's minds, but the works would make a difference to a lot of areas of Warrnambool.
Cr Mike Neoh said asset renewal was a big problem in local government and this project showed the transparent used of the extra rate cap funding.
Cr Kylie Gaston said it was important to point out that the money for the footpath renewal came from the rate cap variation.
"We do have aspirations to be a walking city, a safe city and therefore ultimately a to be healthy city," she said.
"So I just hope this leads to many more steps in the right direction."
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