The long-term aim of returning Indigo Shire Council to a balanced cash operating position would be achieved with the 2018/19 draft budget according to Indigo Mayor Cr Jenny O’Connor.
“This means council is in a strong financial position with a financially sound future. We continue to tighten our belts in order to reach this position and I am pleased to see the rewards of this work,” Cr O’Connor said.
“It’s challenging for small rural councils and I thank our leadership team, staff and fellow councillors for their commitment to set us up for a healthy long-term future.”
The draft budget and the reviewed Council Plan is on public exhibition throughout May.
Cr O’Connor said adherence to a set of guiding principles over the past few years meant this 2018/19 budget had no new borrowings and a fully funded asset renewal. “So we are looking after what we already have and controlling expenses,” she said.
“While the 2.25% rates cap set by the State Government constrains what we can do, the budget allows for some new initiatives linked to our Council Plan.
“These include support for the Active Indigo Strategy in the recreation area, provision for implementation of projects from the new Tourism Strategy, work in relation to the Yackandandah to Beechworth mountain bike trail, and more support for community engagement and our libraries. Importantly, we have made provision for strategic support for initiatives related to our ageing population.”
The total capital works program of $8.2 million includes annual road resealing program of $450,000 and annual gravel re-sheeting program of $612,000. It also includes:
- Chiltern netball courts - $380,000
- Lake Moodemere rowing facility - $160,000
- Osbornes Flat school service road upgrade - $112,000
- Start of the Beechworth to Yackandandah (Osbornes Flat) cycle path - $1.97 million (part of State Government grant)
- Pool renewal works across 5 pools - $60,000
- Wooragee tennis court renewal - $195,000
- Redevelopment of the Beechworth Railway Goods Shed - $460,000
- Water bubblers - $20,000
- Tangambalanga community centre, access work - $20,000
- Relocation of disabled car park at Yackandandah supermarket - $7,000
“The community can have faith in Indigo’s sustainable long-term future,” Cr O’Connor said. “Council is keen to receive submissions on the budget and the Council Plan and we will be holding seven information sessions to make this easier for people. And you can make submissions online through our website as well.”
Information sessions will be held at Wahgunyah School of Arts: Thursday 24 May, 3pm-4pm and at Rutherglen Senior Citizens Centre on Thursday 24 May, 5pm-6pm
Information sessions will also be held as follows
Beechworth Town Hall: Thursday 3 May, 5 - 6pm, Coulston Park, Tangambalanga: Wednesday 9 May, 12 – 1 pm, Chiltern Senior Citizens Centre: Thursday 10 May, 12-1pm, Yackandandah Public Hall: Wednesday 16 May, 5pm-6pm and Barnawartha Memorial Hall: Thursday 17 May, 6pm-7pm (Community Forum).