City of Wodonga

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Council seeks community feedback on draft budget

 

The average ratepayer will pay an additional 69 cents a week under the council’s draft 2018-2019 budget with an effective 1.5 per cent rate rise.

While rates will rise in line with the Victorian Government cap of 2.25 per cent, the waste management charge will be reduced by 4.8 per cent, seeing an overall rise of 1.5 per cent.

Wodonga Mayor Cr Anna Speedie said the draft budget, which was endorsed for a public exhibition period at the May council meeting, delivered on what the community has asked for in the city.

“As a Mayor and Councillor and part of this community, I can’t help but be excited by the changes and growth we’ve seen in our city,” Cr Speedie said.

“Our people have asked for a city heart; for upgrades to sporting precincts; for parks and playgrounds to be clean and free of rubbish; for a growing economy that provides jobs for our people; and we’ve delivered on all of that.

“We are working on the protection and good planning of our hills and rivers, and building a community that is welcoming and supportive and that leaves no one behind.

“Our community has wanted to see lower rates, lower debt and for the council to reduce borrowings, and we’re delivering on that.

“The draft budget represents the sixth year of no new borrowings and the long-term forecast has proposed rate rises of 2 per cent, well below the long-term average of 4.97 per cent.”

The draft budget includes a capital works program worth $24.5 million with $16.4 million coming from council’s operations and $8 million from external grants and contributions.

Significant items in the draft 2018-2019 budget include:

  • The final stage of the High St reconstruction – this is the fourth and final year which will see the completion of the $20 million CBA project;
  • A gas gate at Logic;
  • Planning for a new cultural precinct;
  • Installation of seating and water bubblers;
  • Installation of Wi-fi in public places;
  • Playground upgrades and a new playground at Daintree Estate
  • Car park improvements at Willow Park and the athletics facility;
  • Construction of key foot and cycle path linkages; and,
  •  Upgrade to the CBD to High Country rail trail.

Cr Speedie said the budget included a 4.8 per cent reduction to the household waste management charge to start to address the movement of funds for essential services from the waste management line to being collected via general rates.

“As part of this draft budget, the council is putting forward detailed information on where the waste management charges have gone for the past two years and looks forward to hearing from the community about how that money is spent,” Cr Speedie said.

“This budget is financially responsible while continuing to drive the momentum that has seen Wodonga transform into a vibrant and progressive and city.

“I encourage all of our people to look at the information provided and give us their feedback.”

Hard copies of the budget can be reviewed at the council offices, Wodonga Library and community centres.

The community is encouraged to come along to one of the information sessions that will be held throughout the feedback period or make a submission through one of our online tools.

More information - including all the budget documents, key dates and ways to have your say - is available at makewodongayours.com.au


Last updated: 15-05-2018

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