Wattle Range Council adopted its 2020/21 Annual Business Plan at a Special Council meeting held on June 23, 2020. The Annual Business Plan outlines the services, programs and strategic projects that Council plans to deliver to the community in the coming year.
“Considering the current circumstances surrounding COVID 19 and the direct economic impact that this poses to our community, the setting of the budget was difficult this year. In response, Council has set a 0.0% rating change (plus growth of 0.56% from developments) for the second consecutive year.” Mayor Noll stated.
Mayor Noll added that “In addition to maintaining a low rating increase, Council is proposing to:
- Provide a waiver of rating fines and charges for a period from 15 April 2020 until 31 December 2020, to assist all eligible ratepayers through the COVID-19 recovery phase;
- Balance the rating burden for Primary Producers by decreasing the Primary Production rating differential from 75% to 70% of the residential rate;
- Support business and industry, by maintaining a lower rating differential for Commercial and Industry at 85% of the residential rate;
- Waive all outdoor dining fees and charges for 2020/21;
- Freeze fees and charges for 2020/21 for the greater portion of applicable fees;
- Create a number of new employment opportunities within Council;
- Provide a $100,000 fund for community groups to access for infrastructure projects; and
- Prepare a range of “shovel ready” projects to leverage future grant funding opportunities and generate an economic stimulus for local businesses.”
Based on these operational initiatives, Council is expecting to deliver an operational budget of $26.67M and a small operating deficit of $450,000. “Council’s solid financial performance over the past eight years has enabled us to weather the impact of the forecasted deficit in 2020/21” he added.
In addition to the operating budget, Council is set to deliver a $7.30M capital budget. Included within this budget is several exciting community projects such as:
- $350,000 for the installation of a replacement playground at the Susan Wilson Playground, Beachport
- $105,000 upgrade the Southend Access Road from the Southern Ports Highway to Watson Street
- $60,000 to upgrade Lossie Lane, Millicent (between Williams Road and Walker Street) to a sealed road
- $30,000 to upgrade the toilet facilities at Lake Leake
- $55,000 installation of Penola Entrance Signage at both bypass entrances to Penola
- $240,000 for the sealing of the Service Road in Mt Burr
In total Council intends to spend $3M on roads throughout the district. Specifically, $783,000 being spent on unsealed road re-sheeting, $1.1M on road reseals across the district, $560,000 for shoulder widening works on Kennedy Road, Glencoe and $110,000 on various intersection upgrades.
“I encourage our community to read the Annual Business Plan, as the document includes details of a number of other projects that will be completed in the next year. I look forward to seeing the 2020/21 Annual Business Plan delivered and thank the CEO and staff involved in the preparation of this Plan through such a challenging time.” Mayor Noll concluded.
For further information please contact:
Paul Duka, Acting Chief Executive Officer
Telephone: (08) 8733 0900