Council responds to community to increase focus on assets
Council has listened to the overwhelming feedback from the community regarding the need to increase funding levels for assets, with the Council voting unanimously to notify the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of councillors intent to apply for a Special Rate Variation in the new year.
At the meeting, councillors discussed how the future sustainability of the Shire’s assets hinged on applying for a four-year Special Rate Variation (SRV).
Applying for a Special Rate Variation was a key component of Council’s Fit for the Future proposal delivered to the NSW State Government earlier in the year, with increased funding to be earmarked to community assets such as roads, footpaths and drains.
The decision by the Council follows a report compiled following initial rounds of engagement showing the majority of the Shire’s residents support some level of rate increase above the rate peg amount.
“More than two thirds of all persons surveyed said they would support some level of increase above the nominal rate peg amount,” Council’s General Manager Ann Prendergast said.
“And whilst Council acknowledges that any rate increase may be difficult for some, it’s reassuring the community supports the process we have to undertake in order to bring our assets up to scratch in-line with their expectations and the benchmarks set by the NSW State Government.”
Council will now embark on a further round of community engagement activities detailing projects that would be delivered under the three different funding scenarios.
“This latest round of engagement details the individual projects that are planned to be delivered over the next 10 years as a result of any additional funds secured from each SRV scenario,” Ms Prendergast added.
“I encourage all residents to learn more about each scenario, the additional projects that would be funded and how any increase would affect them.”
Documents detailing the three funding scenarios including the draft Delivery Program, draft Strategic Asset Management Plan and draft Long Term Financial Plan can be found at Council’s Moss Vale, Bowral and Mittagong libraries, the Moss Vale Civic Centre and online at www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/SRV until 1 February 2016.
The Council will reconvene in February following the 53-day community exhibition period to determine the preferred scenario and subsequent final rate increase amount which would be submitted to IPART.
As part of their recommendations Councillors also thanked the staff of Council for the preparation of the documents.
A decision from IPART on Council’s application is expected in May 2016.
For more information or to ask a question visit www.yoursaywingecarribee.com.au/SRV or phone 4868 0888.