After months of work and a seemingly never ending conversation Coucnil last night approved the 2016/17 budget.
In recent days that conversation became quite polarised with a small number of councillors pushing for a 2.7% increase. The change in the conversation during this time alarmed me in that there was no prerequisite to raise the rate increase we had worked on all that time. Just an arbitrary and without foundation we believe it should grow by 0.5%.
Thankfully Coucnil showed a maturity and demonstrated leadership by approving the 2.2% rate increase which had been nominated in our public consultation. A rate increase we had no fewer than 4 outside experts confirm as a responsible rate increase and a responsible and sustainable level of debt.
With the lowest rate rise in the time I have been on council I believe we have set a responsible and sustainable budget.
It includes from those of us who live in the west of Unley’s point of view the following:
Councils contribution to the under-grounding of power lines @ $ 300,000 of Goodwood Road
Upgrade of Goodwood Road streetscape and way finding @ $ 3.3 m (using loan funding)
Continuation of the implementation of the King William Road Master Plan
An increase in funding to address issues raised thus far in our LATM study
$ 250,000 towards preliminary works on Brownhill Creek
Safety road works around the Goodwood Primary School
Footpath replacements in Laught Avenue Black Forest. The remainder of footpaths in the Clarence Park ward are scheduled for 2017/18 when the program terminates.
Tennis Court resurfacing and fence repair at Page Park.
A catch up of CPI for our community grants scheme.
Fruit trees in Princess Margaret Playground
Responding to tree risk assessment in Dora Guild Playground
In signing off I note that a 2.2% increase on annual rates paid say of last year at $ 1,600.00 equates to an increase of $ 35.00. This is of course subject to whether your homes value (as determined by the Valuer General) alters at the same rate as the combination of all properties in Unley. In other words there may be some variation to this.
The minimum rate will increase by $ 17.00 to $ 758.00