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2017-18 Budget to be placed on Public Exhibition

2017-18 Budget to be placed on Public Exhibition

At the Ordinary Council Meeting held today Wednesday 17 May the Administrator Dr Ian Tiley endorsed a suite of draft 2017-2018 planning and budget documents for Public Exhibition from Friday 19 May – Monday 19 June, 2017.

The documents that will go on exhibition include:

  • Draft Four Year Delivery Program 2017-2021 and Operational Plan 2017-2018

  • Draft Operational Budget 2017-2018

  • Draft Revenue Policy (Parts B) – Ordinary Rates and Annual Charges

  • Draft Resourcing Strategy, incorporating the Long Term Financial Plan

These various draft plans and budget are required to be prepared under the Integrated Planning & Reporting Framework (IP&R) and establish a sustainable financial strategy for the next financial year and for a further four years. The Revenue Policy (Part A) – Fees and Charges 2017 – 2018 was endorsed by Council on 12 April 2017 and placed on public exhibition on 13 April 2017 for a period of 28 days.

Armidale Regional Council CEO Peter Dennis said the Council’s financial position is tracking well and on target to meet the NSW Government’s Reform Program TCorp benchmarks for a sustainable Council.

“During the last 12 months since the merger of Armidale Dumaresq and Guyra Shire Councils a significant amount of work has been completed to set a plan to becoming ‘financially sustainable’,” said Peter Dennis.

“This is not always an easy task for local councils but we are committed to living within our means and establishing sound financial management, but still ensuring we achieve the community’s expectations with respect to service levels. 

A budget highlight for the 2017-18 Financial Year is a $39 million capital works program that includes a $9.6million increase in roads, bridges and footpaths to $14.8 million, $2.7 million for the Guyra main street upgrade, $5 million landfill stage 2, stormwater $900k and water and sewer works program worth $3.83 million.

Operational expenditure will maintain existing expenditure however there will be extra focus on economic development and marketing the region with a budget of $492k, developing a digitally connected economy and community $211K, arts, culture and social $185k, communications engagement and customer service $250k and environment $266k.

“We have been able to redirect funds towards these areas which the community has said are important through the Community Strategic Plan,” said Peter Dennis.

“A new Economic Development Strategy and Arts and Cultural Plan are currently being finalised and we are putting in place strategies to improve our communications, engagement and customer service.”

Ratepayers are also reminded that although there is a four year rate freeze for new councils to apply for Special Rate Variations there is still a Rate Peg of 1.5 percent and property owners would have received an updated land valuation which will also have an impact on rates.

The Draft 2017-18 budget documents are on Public Exhibition from Friday 19 May for a period of 28 days. To view the suite of documents visit Council’s engagement hub at yoursay.armidale.nsw.gov.au or hard copies can be viewed at the Armidale Office at 135 Rusden Street or the Guyra Office at 158 Bradley Street. Residents and others are invited to make submissions (quoting reference ARC17/1962) by mail to Armidale Regional Council 75A Rusden Street, Armidale 2350, by email to council@armidale.nsw.gov.au or dropped off in person to either the Armidale or Guyra Offices. Submissions close Monday 19 June, 2017 at 5pm.

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