Council Presents 2013/14 Budget
Balancing the demand for services and infrastructure and the community’s capacity to pay has been a key focus of the Bass Coast Shire Council’s 2013/14 Budget.
“The Budget was developed through a rigorous process of budget workshops. It is financially responsible and will deliver a wide range of benefits across the Shire,” said Bass Coast Mayor Cr Clare Le Serve.
“This year we will spend approximately $69 million on services, new initiatives and capital projects in what is one of the fastest growing regional municipalities in Victoria. To help fund this, rates and charges will increase an average of 5.9% or $83 per property.
“Our aim is to provide our ratepayers with value for money. Of the 79 councils in Victoria, Bass Coast currently has amongst the lowest average rates and charges per property.
“The budget delivers on the strategic objectives set out in the Council Plan, to protect our natural environment, and have sustainable development and growth, healthy communities, strong economic development and effective governance. It is designed to meet the challenges of climate change and population growth, improve Council services and deal with the increasing number of visitors during peak periods.”
The draft budget includes over $500,000 of new initiatives as well as almost $15 million of capital works. It was presented at the Council meeting on 19 June.
Budgeted total operating revenue is $65.18 million. This figure includes revenue from general rates, garbage charge and interest of $43.6 million, and $13.9 million of government grants, subsidies, contributions and reimbursements.
Council has developed a $14.76 capital works program for 2013/14 consisting of:
- Roads ($9.78 million). This includes asphalt surface renewals, spray sealing, road reconstructions and pathways constructions.
- Drains ($0.17 million). This includes urban drainage improvements.
- Open spaces ($0.95 million). This includes renewal and upgrade of playgrounds, playing surface renewal, installation of lights and drainage works.
- Buildings ($1million). This includes construction of new buildings and renewal of existing ones.
- Plant & equipment ($1.78 million). This includes the replacement of plant and vehicles, offset by trade-ins and sales of $0.48 million).
- Other projects ($1.06 million). This includes rehabilitation of waste landfill sites.
This coming year Bass Coast Shire Council proposes to spend over $0.55 million in new initiatives, including:
- Cowes Activity Centre Plan to identify areas where people shop, work, meet, relax and live, and develop plans to improve these over the next 20 years. The project was initiated by the Cowes Community Committee. Total project value of $150,000. Budget allocation: $60,000.
- Review of the Bass Coast Planning Scheme to ensure the Local Planning Policy Framework aligns with the Council Plan 2013-2017. Total project value of $80,000. Budget allocation: $40,000
- Preparation for New Asset Management Systems. Budget allocation of $91,947. This will be offset by reduction in the use of consultants by $80,000.
- When new subdivisions are constructed by private developers, Council is responsible for the ongoing maintenance of public areas, such as roads, drains and open space. As a result of the considerable growth in new subdivisions, Council proposes to employ two Parks and Gardens team members to carry out the increased work. In order to maintain service levels, new ratepayers moving into these subdivisions will contribute to the cost of these works through their rates. Budget allocation: $84,000.
Information on other new initiatives is available on the Budget 2013/14 document. While some new initiatives involve the creation of new positions, these positions are there to deliver services agreed by Council.
Budget Process Key Dates
The key dates for the budget process are summarised below:
|Budget Process|| |
|Proposed budget submitted to Council||Wednesday, 19 June|
|Public notice advising of intention to adopt the budget||Tuesday, 25 June|
|Budget available for inspection (see details below)||Wednesday 26 June|
|Submissions period closes||Tuesday, 23 July|
|Submissions considered by Council||Wednesday, 24 July|
|Council decides whether to adopt the proposed budget in its current or in a modified form||Wednesday, 31 July (Special Council meeting)|
Copies of the proposed budget will be available on Council’s website from Thursday, 20 June, and will be available for inspection from Wednesday, 26 June 2013 at:
- Bass Coast Civic Centre : 76 McBride Ave, Wonthaggi
- Cowes Customer Service Centre: 91-97 Thompson Ave
- Inverloch Community Hub: 16 A’Beckett St
- Grantville Transaction Centre: 1504-1510 Bass Hwy
- Libraries across the Shire, including the mobile library.
Under the provisions of Section 223 of the Local Government Act, any person may make a written submission on any proposal contained in the Budget. Council will consider any submissions received in accordance with this section, at the Council Chamber on Wednesday, 24 July 2013.
Any person lodging a submission may request to be heard in person in support of their submission. Submissions may be made available to the public.
Submissions must be received by 5.00pm on Tuesday, 23 July 2013 and be addressed to The Chief Executive Officer, Bass Coast Shire Council, PO Box 118, Wonthaggi VIC 3995. For further information about the proposed budget, contact Council on the number below.