Roads and community facilities head Council’s proposed 2018/19 budget
Investing more in roads and community facilities, returning to an operating surplus and planning for growth are the key focus areas of Mitchell Shire Council’s proposed 2018/19 budget, which is now out for community feedback.
With roads one of the community’s top priorities, the draft budget includes $7.07 million for road maintenance and road projects - an increase of $1.22 million from the previous budget.
Investment in recreational, leisure and community facilities has also grown substantially with $1.4 million in capital projects - $930,000 more than 2017/18.
The $78.7 million proposed 2018/19 budget includes $15.5 million for new capital works - an extra $1.4 million compared to last year (excluding carry forward projects).
Highlights of the 2018/19 capital works program include:
- Road improvement projects - $3.82 million ($953,000 grant funded)
- Recreational, leisure and community facilities - $1.34 million ($80,000 grant funded)
- Footpaths and cycleways - $846,000 ($263,000 improvements and $583,000 for new works)
- Parks, open space and streetscapes - $359,000
- Waste management - $4.5 million
- Bridge renewals - $212,000
The proposed budget also includes $60.91 million to deliver services and operations and continue Council’s approach of investing heavily in forward planning to be able to leverage significant grant contributions.
- Road maintenance
- Service planning and asset reviews
- Seymour Structure Plan implementation
- Broadford Structure Plan preparation
- Domestic Animal Management Plan implementation
- Southern Regional Park and Kilmore Creek feasibility studies
- Seymour Station Precinct Plan
- Developing online customer service opportunities
- Rural roadside mapping
Mitchell Shire Mayor Rhonda Sanderson said the proposed budget built on all the hard work Council had done over the past few years to strengthen its financial position.
“Council has made a conscious effort over the last couple of years to be very disciplined and responsible when forming our budgets in order to get ourselves back into a sound financial position,” Cr Sanderson said.
“We are well on our way to achieving this and it’s great to see all that hard work starting to pay off. At the same time, we have still been able to provide services as well as some new and improved facilities for our community.
“In 2016 we set a goal to reduce our net operating costs by $4 million over two years – we’ve achieved this and we have now returned to an operating surplus and rebuilt our cash reserves.
“We’ve got some challenges ahead as we go through the next growth phase and address our asset renewal gap, but we’re now in a much better position to address these.”
Cr Sanderson said it was difficult to prioritise projects across the shire considering the needs of new communities, growth areas, urban areas, smaller townships and rural areas.
“We’ve been mindful of these needs across the municipality in preparing the budget. We’ve also considered the substantial funding investment we’ve had in recent years through programs like the Growing Suburbs Fund which has helped deliver more than $18 million in projects in Beveridge, Wallan, Kilmore and Broadford in the last three years.
“Council has limited funds, so we’ve relied on community input to the Council Plan and other strategies to help prioritise initiatives in this budget and we’ve only included projects that are fully funded by Council or that have known grants coming in. It is important to note that this may change a little through the year to take advantage of grants as they become available.” Cr Sanderson encouraged the community to view the proposed budget, attend an information session or Councillor forum and consider whether to make a submission.“
It’s now over to the community to show their support for what’s included or to let us know if there’s something critical that we’ve missed.”
Budget information sessions will be held:
Seymour – Monday 30 April at 7pm (Chittick Park Community Place, Pollard Street)
Wallan – Tuesday 1 May at 7pm (Family and Children’s Centre, corner Bentinck and Queen streets)
Kilmore – Thursday 3 May at 7pm (John Taylor Room, Sydney Street)There will also be a Councillor consultation forum in Pyalong on Wednesday 9 May from 7pm at the Pyalong Recreation Reserve Supper Room Hall.
Copies of the draft Budget are available from the Engaging Mitchell website or in hard copy at Council’s Customer and Library Service Centres in Broadford, Kilmore, Seymour or Wallan. Submissions can be made online or in writing and need to be received by 5pm on Wednesday 23 May.
This page was last updated on 18 February 2020.