A two per cent rate rise is proposed

A TWO per cent rate rise has been proposed for Wellington Shire Council's 2017-18 budget.

Council will release the draft budget for public exhibition during Tuesday night's meeting.

Wellington Shire mayor Carolyn Crossley said the proposed rate increase was in line with the rate cap imposed by the state government.

"For the average residential property valuation of $262,865 the overall increase of rates and charges equates to an annual increase of $39.13, or $0.75 per week," she said.

"Council has carefully considered the most appropriate budget for maintaining existing service levels and providing a broad range of capital works under tight budget constraints."

The increasing cost to comply with Environment Protection Authority requirements for waste infrastructure has led to council increasing the waste infrastructure charge from $45 to $50, so that it can fund future capital works.

The garbage charge will also increase to $187, but the associated EPA levy charge will remain at $14.92.

The draft budget features $45.25 million for capital works, with $17.8 million coming from non-council sources, such as state and federal governments and user groups.

Projects include:

West Sale Airport runway extension ($4.135 million);

Continuing the Port of Sale precinct redevelopment ($3.525 million);

Stage 2A of the Gippsland Regional Sports Complex, Sale ($2.18 million);

Construction of the Glebe-Woondella Path, Sale, ($1.45 million);

Streetscape renewals in Maffra and Stratford ($1.25 million and $900,000 respectively);

Change room redevelopment at Godfrey Baldwin Reserve, Sale ($490,000);

Relocation of the netball court at Stephenson Park, Sale, ($240,000);

Stage two of the Regent Theatre refurbishment, Yarram, ($200,000), and

Land stabilisation of the Seagull Drive Walk, Loch Sport ($100,000).

Among other projects, there will be safety upgrades at Hodges and Boisdale-Newry Rds, Newry; boat ramp and parking improvements at Port Albert; renewal of the Woodside Beach playground, and reconstruction of Stradbroke Rd, Gormandale; Cairnbrook Rd, Cowwarr, and McMillan Crescent, Yarram.

Council is forecasting it will spend $33.68 million on capital works this financial year, with $7.5 million in works to be carried forward from 2016-17 to 2017-18.

An additional $11.35 million has been allocated for council's residential street schemes, footpaths and shared paths program, and open space projects including streetscapes, parks, reserves, sports grounds, playgrounds and skate parks.

Mayor Carolyn Crossley said council also provided a varied and wide range of services, including immunisations, libraries and health inspections.

"It's not all about roads, rates and rubbish, and we will continue to provide over 140 services during the 2017-18 financial year," she said.

Submissions from the public to the draft budget will be considered by council on May 30.

The budget will be adopted on June 6.

Gippsland Senior
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