REGION – Alexandrina Council proposes to increase rates by an average of 3.5 per cent in 2017-18.
Ratepayers can have their say on the draft 2017-18 Annual Business Plan and Budget, which has been released for public comment.
In 2016-17 Alexandrina Council rates rose 2.8 per cent, the lowest rate rise for the council in nearly 20 years.
In the coming year, council will collect $38 million in rate revenue. The council proposes an operating deficit of $1.6 million and a a return to surplus in 2017-18.
In preparing the plan, council is mindful of the future challenges and continuing economic uncertainty facing our communities.
The deficit is proposed for council to make contributions to several large projects including the under-grounding of power in Strathalbyn and surf life saving facilities in the region.
Mayor Keith Parkes hoped to receive constructive feedback from ratepayers.
“In preparing the plan, council is mindful of the future challenges and continuing economic uncertainty facing our communities,” Mr Parkes said.
“Elected members and staff are conscious of the need to provide a responsible and sustainable budget that delivers maximum benefit for the community.
“The draft plan reflects our commitment to supporting growth in the Alexandrina region, while continuing to provide the best possible mix of services, infrastructure and facilities.
“I encourage our residents to visit our website or one of our council offices to view the document and provide feedback.”
Councillor Jim Davis was the only elected member to show opposition to the draft business plan and budget at a council meeting on Monday, May 15.
“The level of rates is too much for me and I believe too heavy on the community,” Cr Davis said. “I shan’t support this.”
Some of the key initiatives proposed for the coming year include a new playground at Mount Compass; a $1.32 million streetscape upgrade at Sandergrove Road, Strathalbyn; and $4.61 million on the Fleurieu Regional Waste Transfer Station.
Spending also includes: kerbs and footpaths $1.1 million; land and buildings $6.9 million; roads and bridges $5.4 million; and plant and equipment $3.5 million.