The Border Watch : April 11th 2014
6 NEWS VISIT US ONLINE borderwatch.com.au FORWARD STEP: Mount Gambier City Council chief executive offi cer Mark McShane welcomes the release of the 2014/15 draft budget, which includes a provisional $450,000 allocation for solar lights on the walking path of the city’s iconic Blue Lake. Picture: SANDRA MORELLO BUDGET SUMMARY FOR EVERY $100 THE MOUNT GAMBIER CITY COUNCIL SPENDS n Economic development - $4 n Waste management - $3 n Stormwater drainage - $1 n Environmental activities - $5 n Parks and recreation - $24 n Community services and facilities - $7 n Regulatory services - $3 n Transport and road infrastructure - $26 n Libraries, cultural and heritage services - $11 n Council and executive services - $7 n Corporate and fi nancial services $5 n Engineering and asset management - $4 Easter & ANZAC Day Publication Deadlines: Thursday 17th April Edition Booking Deadline: Monday 14th April, 1pm Copy Deadline: Monday 14th April, 3pm Classified Deadline: Wednesday 16th April, 1pm Friday 18th April Edition & Real Estate Booking Deadline: Tuesday 15th April, 1pm Copy Deadline: Tuesday 15th April, 3pm Classified Deadline: Thursday 17th April, 1pm Tuesday 22nd April Edition & Carsmart Booking Deadline: Wednesday 16th April, 1pm Copy Deadline: Wednesday 16th April, 3pm Classified Deadline: Thursday 17th April, 1pm Thursday 24th April Edition Booking Deadline: Monday 21st April, 1pm Copy Deadline: Monday 21st April, 3pm Classified Deadline: Wednesday 23rd April, 1pm Friday 25th April Edition & Real Estate Booking Deadline: Tuesday 22nd April, 1pm Copy Deadline: Tuesday 22nd April, 3pm Classified Deadline: Thursday 24th April, 1pm Tuesday 29th April Edition & Carsmart Booking Deadline: Thursday 24th April, 1pm Copy Deadline: Thursday 24th April, 3pm Classified Deadline: Thursday 24th April, 1pm 644743 6 - The Border Watch, Friday, April 11, 2014 Budget reveal State Government windfall eases city’s fi nancial pressure From front page Meanwhile, the budget also outlines council’s operating expenses that include more than $2m for the library, $1.2m for parks and gardens and $682,000 to run the Main Corner. While the Main Corner has a heavy operating fi gure, the highprofi le facility is only expected to generate around $70,000 in revenue next fi nancial year. Mount Gambier Mayor Steve Perryman said the draft 2014/15 budget was not as “capital intensive” as previous years. But he said the community would see the completion of the old hospital site, the next phase of the rail corridor upgrade as well as works on the Caroline landfi ll. “The Blue Lake lighting project is the most signifi cant new individual item,” Mr Perryman said. While the budget sets out a 4.8pc general rate revenue rise, he said this figure would be trimmed to around 4.3pc for existing ratepayers given new property growth. Meanwhile, corporate and community services director Grant Humphries said the “centrepieces” of the budget also included $300,000 for the city centre redevelopment roll-out and $2m for the rail lands. He said a $3m State Government windfall had substantially relieved pressure on council’s budget. “The major capital works will continue to be the centrepiece of the budget,” Mr Humphries said. Overall, he said the budget allowed for just $1.1m in new borrowings. He said the $3m government injection included $1m for the rail lands, $750,000 for the inner-city renewal program and $150,000 for the Ferrers Street streetscape works. “These grants don’t just drop down from heaven - they take a lot of hard work,” Mr Humphries said. He said a foreshadowed 6.9pc recurrent rate rise had now been whittled back to 5pc. Mr Humphries said council’s fi nancial outlook had also improved following a renewed focus on council’s operating expenditure. Other highlights in the budget include new outside panels worth $120,000 for the civic centre, $50,000 to remove asbestos at the Wehl Street Theatre and a $100,000 contribution to the UniSA development. Allocations also include $80,000 for the men’s shed, $50,000 for a dog park and $80,000 to facilitate the local government elections. Around $100,000 has been earmarked to remove the diseased trees in the crater lakes area. It is understood the dying trees are beginning to fall and pose a potential safety hazard for walkers. About $2.6m has also been put aside for road infrastructure, which includes depreciation. According to the budget papers, around 73pc of council’s operating revenue will come from rates. Ratepayer feedback sought COMMUNITY consultation for Mount Gambier City Council’s draft 2014/15 budget kicks off today. The council has provided a number of ways to encourage feedback from the community, which includes a growing online presence, written submissions and static public displays. Written submissions - including emails - close 5.15pm on Friday, May 9. Meanwhile, a feedback box will be located at the civic centre that allows people to fi ll out a quick form. In a move to boost community feedback, the council has also ramped up its online community consultation presence. Ratepayers are encouraged to go to the council’s website portal “Have Your Say” section and submit comments online. The online process includes a news feed or comments wall, a quick poll and a guest book. People are also encouraged to register on the site.
April 10th 2014
April 15th 2014