Ratepayers will be paying, on average, 1.55percent more in rates over the next financial year.
But Goondiwindi Regional Mayor, Cr Graeme Scheu warned some landholders will be hit with a bill far higher.
“The region has experienced massive valuation changes and it is likely to result in significant increases and possibly decreases when this year’s rates are levied. (Council is obligated by legislation to levy rates based upon land valuations.)
He said land agricultural land had jumped significantly in some areas while in Goondiwindi, homeowners around the Golf Club area will most likely see a jump in their rates.
Cr Scheu has previously urged landowners who were concerend to lodge an objection with the State Government. The period for that has now closed.
However, all-in-all, Cr Scheu is excited about the Budget, despite what many would call a steady-as-she-goes on spending. The reason fort that excitement? What lies ahead for the region and the prospects which may come.
“In my 40years of living in Goondiwindi, I have never seen a brighter outlook for our wonderful region,” he said. Council has applied an average general rate rise of 1.55% after discount, to raise $11.8m dollars.
The important message there, he said, is “discount”. Ratepayers get a 15percent early payment incentive if they pay by Wednesday, August 30.
The budget provides for a further $7.1m of utility fees and $14m of grants and contract work. Council will spend approximately $33.1M in operations resulting in an operational deficit of $250,647. Council will also spend $11,247,195 on asset renewal and new projects through the Capital Budget and capital grants. The overall result will see Councils cash position decreasing by $161,210.
“I believe that this budget provides a prudent balance between investment now and for the future and is a sensible position given the economic environment we currently face,” Councillor Scheu said.
Some of the major capital projects included for the next 12 months include: $400,000 implementing a kerbside recycling program (July 2018); $1.65M on replacement of plant; $180,000 for bikeway/walkway extensions in Inglewood, Texas and Goondiwindi; $2.6m Road Works- $1.5M for Council gravel road re-sheeting and $1.1M for Council bitumen road resealing throughout the region; $1.64M to continue sealing and widening works on Goodar, Riverton, Greenup-Limevale and Kondar Roads; $1.7M on water supply infrastructure replacements and renewals; $855,000 on sewerage system renewals and pipe relining.
“Implementing a recycling program across the region is something that has been a challenge and while it may not be fully implemented in this financial year, it is council’s intention to commence the process,” Cr Scheu said.
“There may be changes next year to the way collection fees are levied but at the moment, it is not intended to introduce landfill fees for residents.”
“In summary, the future is good and the region is on the cusp of an agricultural economic boom. Once we see a decision on the Murray Darling Water situation, get the Inland Rail Corridor finalised and address the communications issue that is holding back our district, there will be no doubt, where the best Regional Centre to live, work and play will be,” he said.