Wodonga Council’s draft budget for 2020-2021 includes a zero rate rise as the city and our people recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
This step will see nearly $1 million cut from the budget with savings made through operational changes.
It includes an allowance for the increased hardship measures, including deferred rate payments and rent relief for council tenants, expected following COVID-19.
The capital works program for 2020-2021 will be $23.5 million including $5.8 million for renewing our community assets. There is also $10 million in carryover projects in the draft budget.
Assets continue to be well-managed and renewals fully funded now and in the long-term capital plan.
There is also $550,000 in operating projects including tree planting, playground maintenance, signage and shade shelters.
For the eighth consecutive year, there are no new borrowings.
Following the COVID-19 pandemic and restrictions, identified savings have been made in the events area with several major events not going ahead in 2020 including Children’s Fair, the Red Carpet Youth Awards award dinner, Fridays on My Mind and. Senior Celebrations.
The council will continue working with the Red Carpet committee to design an alternate online program for this year.
Bonegilla Migrant Experience will also reduce to opening three days a week.
The cross-border festival Upstream, which attracted more than 16,000 people over the four days of the inaugural event, will proceed in 2021 as restrictions allow, with staff beginning planning for next year’s festival.