Council’s budget night

SUBMISSIONS received for Wellington Shire Council’s draft 2016-17 budget are likely to only have a minimal affect on the final document.

The final budget will be adopted during tonight’s meeting.

The 2016-17 budget presented for adoption includes a capital works program, increased to $45.6 million from the draft document.

Since releasing the draft budget in May, monitoring of current capital works found delays. Council will carry forward $2 million worth of works 2016-17, including $550,000 for the Sale CBD streetscape renewal and $450,000 for the Rosedale streetscape renewal.

The increase in the general rate will remain at 2.5 per cent, in line with state government legislation.

Of the 17 submissions received, only one is set to result in council agreeing to make an additional financial contribution.

Following a review, a recommendation has been made for council to provide a one-off payment of $2980 to the Dargo Hall and Recreation Reserve committee of management for maintenance around the Dargo Swimming Hole Reserve.

An officer claimed council was unable to support the request for a $50,000 contribution toward the construction of a footbridge connecting the Catholic College Sale ovals and the western end of Macalister St.

A request to provide $10,000 annually to each of the shire’s 10 neighbourhood houses and learning centres is unlikely to be successful, but a recommendation was made that council committed to continuing current funding levels. The council officer reported there were opportunities to fund specific initiatives through the Community Assistance Grant Scheme.

An officer said council was unable to support a request to construct a sealed road connecting the South Gippsland Highway and Guthridge Parade, Sale as the $960,000 cost would be too high for a project would provide limited benefit to the broader community.

Council will consider an objection from the Loch Sport Charles Street Boat Ramp Community Group to the proposed works at the ramp’s car park as part of the concept development for the project.

Additional funding may not be allocated to the Loch Sport Men’s Shed.

In response to objections to a boat trailer and RV parking area at Rutter Park, Port Albert, a recommendation was made to finalise concepts for upgrade works, and begin community engagement regarding the proposed works.

Council is unlikely to support a request from Tarra Territory Tourism to increase its funding to maintain the Grand Strzelecki Track to $20,000.

Tonight’s council meeting will begin at 6pm in the Port of Sale Business Centre.