Moyne remains in a strong financial position ... delivering an operating surplus of $1.4 million.- Draft budget
Moyne Shire Council has proposed a rate rise of 1.75 per cent in its draft 2022-23 budget, the biggest possible rate hike allowed by the state government.
Annual rate rises are capped under the government's Fair Go Rates System.
The draft budget will be discussed at Tuesday's monthly council meeting before going out for a 14-day public feedback period.
After incorporating public submissions council will vote on the final budget at a special meeting on June 28.
Council has set forth $52.7 million in proposed spending, including a $17.9 million capital works budget, of which $17 million is either asset renewal or upgrades.
The big ticket item in the capital works program is local roads, with $9.2 million allocated including $5.8 million for road rehabilitation and $2.1 million on resealing.
New capital works spending is limited, with $475,000 proposed. Port Fairy's East Beach will receive $1.7 million to implement the masterplan.
Among the new initiatives proposed is a $75,000 analysis investigating inundation problems at South Beach, while Koroit Health Services will receive much-needed attention with $50,000 dedicated to strategic planning to develop the site in the growing town.
Council remains in a strong financial position in the wake of two years of COVID-19 shutdowns, delivering an operating surplus of $1.4 million.
Despite the surplus the draft budget said the proposed rate rise was justified, going so far as to suggest the cap posed a "financial challenge" for council because of the rising consumer price index. That will likely be cold comfort to ratepayers whose wages are falling further behind CPI.
Rates and charges will contribute more than $25 million to council income, nearly half the total revenue of $54 million, with the remainder composed of government grants and user fees from council services.
Council income from waste management will rise by almost 15 per cent, while income from childcare services will increase 10 per cent and aged care support services will triple.
Meanwhile income from animal control services will drop nearly 60 per cent.
Despite these changes, fees for various council services will rise only slightly, generally in line with CPI, although any locals looking to get rid of tractor or earth mover tyres should do it now, with prices to almost double.
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