Grants help keep rate rise to 2.64pc

Jacinta CantatoreHarvey-Waroona Reporter
The budget outlines a 2.64 per cent rate increase, which is 1.36 per cent less than the rise predicted in the council’s long-term financial plan.
Camera IconThe budget outlines a 2.64 per cent rate increase, which is 1.36 per cent less than the rise predicted in the council’s long-term financial plan.

Waroona shire councillors voted unanimously to adopt the 2019-2020 budget at a special meeting last Tuesday.

The budget outlines a 2.64 per cent rate increase, which is 1.36 per cent less than the rise predicted in the council’s long-term financial plan.

Minimum rates will increase $30 per annum, from $1115 to $1145. Rate notices will be posted next week.

Rates for an average four-bedroom household will increase $40 from $1704 to $1744.

Shire deputy chief executive officer Laurie Tillbrook said the rate rise was modest and would continue to be that way based on the shire’s financial planning for the next 10 years.

“We’ve reviewed our long-term financial plan and we have made only a steady rate increase,” he said.

“We haven’t predicted any kind of growth in the shire apart from subdivision.”

Mr Tillbrook said the $984,206 the shire had received from grants and contributions was unprecedented.

He believes any future fiscal planning could not be based on the assumption shire projects would be eligible for grant funding in the future.

“We are very lucky that we have such a high amount of grants funding this year,” Mr Tillbrook said.

“But having grant funding down the track is not something we should plan to rely on.”

The annual household levy for rubbish and recycling collection would increase from $290 to $300 for the year, with a portion of this income being put aside for future capital works at the Buller Road Refuse Site.

The biggest budget item was $596,000 to construct the highly-anticipated Waroona West Fire Station.

Another $252,000 was allocated towards Roads to Recovery projects, and $45,000 was also allocated towards ramps and footpaths on South Western Highway in the town centre.

Funding for essential maintenance work to the Waroona Recreation and Aquatic Centre, upgrades to the Centennial Park playground and refurbishment of the visitors centre have all been allocated.

Plans to upgrade the Waroona War Memorial have been shelved for 12 months, which Mr Tillbrook said would allow council staff time to apply for grant funding for the project for the 2020-2012 financial year.

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