MACEDON Ranges ratepayers will fork out 6.9 per cent more on rates if the council’s draft budget is given the green light.
Shooting goals: Annabel, Tanae, Bianca and Livi pictured at the proposed netball complex site in New Gisborne. Picture: Marco De Luca
The increase — the highest in the region — was revealed in the council budget papers released for public comment last week.
Hepburn Council has proposed a 4 per cent rates rise while residents in Mount Alexander will pay 6.5 per cent more.
Last year’s rate rise in the Macedon Ranges was 4.8 per cent.
Sunbury residents will find out their rates next Monday when Hume Council’s draft budget is revealed publicly.
An average ratepayer living in a median valued property in the Macedon Ranges will pay $1691 this year compared with $1582 last year, a difference of $109. Rate revenue accounts for 60 per cent of the council’s total revenue each year.
Mayor Roger Jukes said the proposed budget was balanced.
“Our recurrent operating income is $63 million and our recurrent operating expenditure is $57.36 million. This means we generate an operating surplus of $5.4 million, of which $4.5 million will be invested in capital works and $0.9 million will be spent on new initiatives.
“Although our debt will increase [to $9.8 million], it is still below prudential levels and it will enable us to invest in some important projects that will provide benefits to the community for many years to come.”
Budget highlights include spending $1.55 million to develop land at the east paddock of Hanging Rock, $764,000 to upgrade Gilbert Gordon Oval in Woodend and $800,000 for playground projects in Kyneton and Romsey. Capital works are valued at $6.2 million.
At its meeting on Wednesday, the council decided to advertise its intention to sell four blocks of land to fund its contribution for the $1.02 million netball complex proposed for New Gisborne.
The outdoor complex, on the corner of Hamilton and Barringo roads, was approved in September and will be paid for by the council, Gisborne Netball Association and with a state government grant.
An indoor basketball stadium development at Gisborne Secondary College will also go ahead, with the Education Department giving the nod for the project.
Council chief executive Peter Johnston said it had now reached an agreement with the department on building the stadium, which would be available for community use.
The council will contribute $1.5 million towards the stadium.
Submissions on the budget and supporting papers can be made until noon on Friday, May 31. They will be considered at a public meeting at 4pm at the Kyneton town hall on June 5.