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Proposed council budget open for comment

McIvor Road upgrade

Have your say on the proposed Council budget, which includes nearly $4.5 million on roads and bridges and $3.43 million on buildings and community facilities.

Wednesday 18 April 2018

Mount Alexander Shire Council has released its 2018/2019 Proposed Budget for community consideration, following adoption at an Ordinary Meeting of Council last night.

The $37.04 million budget will seek to maintain and improve infrastructure and deliver more than 100 services to the community in the year ahead.

It outlines the staffing and resources needed to achieve the strategic objectives in the Council Plan 2017-2021, under the three pillars of Our People, Our Place and Our Economy.

Rates will increase by 2.25%, in line with the Victorian Government’s Fair Go Rates System, as Council continues to review and improve its processes to find efficiencies and advocate to state and federal governments for more funding for important community infrastructure and services.

Council has removed the municipal charge as outlined in its rating strategy. Kerbside bin collection charges will increase by an average of 5.4% per property to maintain rubbish and recycling services at existing levels.

2018/2019 is a general revaluation year so some rates will increase by more than the 2.25%, others will increase by less. A general revaluation and removal of the municipal charge does not result in more funding for Council, rather it is a redistribution of rates across all properties.

An increase in waste charges reflects pressures associated with the rising cost of waste management including global recycling challenges and the cost of rehabilitating landfill cells at the Castlemaine waste facility.

In addition to delivering a broad range of community services, the proposed budget will deliver on $11.35 million capital works program.

Capital expenditure includes nearly $4.5 million for roads and bridges, $3.43 million on buildings and community facilities, $903,000 to address drainage, $456,000 on footpaths and trails and $1.24 million on plant, equipment and technology.

Capital works highlights include:

Roads – $3.6 million program includes more than $1.5 million for road works as part of the grant-funded Roads to Recovery program, and $1.6 million for resealing roads and resheeting gravel roads.
Buildings – $3.43 million to improve facilities across the shire including $1.73 million to complete stage 2 at Wesley Hill Recreation Reserve with a new multipurpose pavilion as well as the installation of flood lights at Doug Powell Oval ($400,000). $326,000 to construct a new play space at Victory Park and $50,000 of works to the Phee Broadway Theatre.
Bridges – $829,000 to renew bridges on Campbells Creek-Fryers Road and complete investigation and design works at other locations.
Footpaths – $395,000 for footpaths and streetscape improvements in our towns as we continue to lobby for more government funding, and upgrade disabled parking spaces to meet Australian Standards ($86,000).
Drainage – $903,000 to implement improvements to the drainage network, including Moscript Street in Campbells Creek and Saint Street in Castlemaine.
The proposed budget includes new and continuing projects including:
Early Years – Implement Early Years Plan and deliver the State Government funded Supported Playgroups Program. ($96,000).
Trees - Undertake data collection on park trees to ensure the safety of our trees ($120,000), while continuing the street tree planting program ($40,000).
Road maintenance – Additional road base materials for road sealing maintenance ($80,000).
Planning for the future – Prepare a Developer Contribution Plan for Harcourt ($40,000) and update the Maldon Design Guidelines using in-house expertise.

“Council delivers a wide range of services for our community from managing our local roads, footpaths, community buildings and much loved parks and gardens, to monitoring the health of new babies and supporting older residents to help stay independent in their home,” said Cr Bronwen Machin, Mayor of Mount Alexander Shire.

“As councillors, we continually hear that the services council provides are valued and we must remain focused on delivering value for money.”

“This draft budget was developed through a rigorous process of review over several months to ensure we have the right resources in place to provide the core services our community needs, manage our ageing infrastructure and plan for growth,” she said.

“It builds on the considerable amount of work we have done to audit the conditions of our assets to help us prioritise our investments, while identifying sustainable cost savings and service improvements.”

The proposed budget and fact sheet is available on the Have Your Say section of Council’s website. Printed copies are available at the Civic Centre in Castlemaine, Castlemaine Library, Newstead Rural Transaction Centre and local visitor information centres.

To make a submission please forward a letter to: Chief Executive Officer, Mount Alexander Shire Council, PO Box 185, Castlemaine VIC 3450 or send an email titled 2018/2019 Budget Submission to info@mountalexander.vic.gov.au.

If you would like to speak to your submission at the Special Meeting of Council, please indicate this in your submission. Submissions close 5.00pm on Wednesday 23 May 2018.

Key dates:

• Wednesday 23 May 2018 at 5.00pm – closing date for public submissions.
• Tuesday 5 June 2018 at 6.30pm – Special Meeting of Council to hear budget submissions at the Civic Centre in Castlemaine.
• Tuesday 26 June 2018 at 6.30pm – adoption of the Annual Budget at the Ordinary Meeting of Council at the Civic Centre in Castlemaine.

Key documents
2018/2019 Proposed budget summary

Image: Nearly $4.5 million is allocated to roads and budgets within the proposed budget.

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