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Year of consolidation ahead for Council

Year of consolidation ahead for Council

Council’s strategic documents that outline the projects, programs and initiatives Council will deliver over the next three years, including how Council will achieve this financially and with what resources, are now on Public Exhibition until 18 June 2018.

The Draft Delivery Program 2018-2021, Draft Operational Plan 2018-2019 and the Draft Resourcing Strategy 2018 which includes the 2018-2019 Budget are the operational documents that sustainably deliver the community’s objectives detailed within the Community Strategic Plan 2017-2027, for the three year term of the incumbent Council. These documents are mandatory requirements under the State Government’s Integrated Planning and Reporting Framework.

Armidale Regional Council Mayor Cr Simon Murray said there was never a more important time for the community to engage with Council and share their views on what Council will deliver for the community over the next three years and beyond.

“The 2018-2019 Financial Year is a time of consolidation for Council to complete large scale projects, many of which are funded through merger and grant funds from the State and Federal Governments, to maintain existing service levels, deliver an affordable and responsible budget and set a plan in place for financial sustainability,” said Cr Murray.

“We won’t be resting on our laurels though, and are actively chasing Government funding for a number of other significant regional projects like the Malpas Dam to Guyra pipeline, Armidale Business Park Development, Armidale Mall Revitalisation and the Mother of Ducks Lagoon amenities upgrade.”

The Draft Budget represents a total consolidated expenditure of $97 million in 2018-2019 and includes a $40.8 million capital works program.

Capital works project highlights include:
Regional Waste management facility completion of construction  - $2.51 million
Long Swamp Road Waste Management Facility Construction of Transfer Station - $2 million
City to Soil upgrade - $476K
Armidale Airport infrastructure upgrades - $1.3 million
Upgrade stormwater drainage on Shand Drive in the airport precinct - $2.1 million
Roads to Recovery restoration - $1.8 million
Gravel re-sheet $700k
Urban and rural re-seals - $643K

Some new initiatives in the operational budget include:
Establishment of Mayoral Discretionary Fund
Creation of a Grants and Sponsorships Officer position for 12 months
Pilot incentive program for wood heaters
Delivery of sustainability education
Employment of Sustainability Officer
Affordable housing initiatives
Council’s contribution towards Saumarez infrastructure upgrade
Implementation of Black Gully Flying Fox Management Plan
Implementation of Local Community Funding Program for local priorities (allocation of $5,000 each to seven Local Area committees)

The rates freeze for merged Council’s is still in place however the annual rate peg of 2.5 percent has been applied to the general property rates. Council’s fees and charges have been increased generally in accordance with CPI increases, or to a level that matches the service cost.

Council has recognised the need to continue to give priority and attention to ongoing financial sustainability, including the matching of the Delivery Program commitments against resourcing availability, particularly in the medium to longer term. As part of Council’s current operations a number of actions and plans have been formulated to ensure existing levels of front line services are maintained. Council’s 2018-2019 budget recognises that changes need to happen, within the current service levels, in order to align with the sustainability criteria for Fit for the Future.

The draft documents are available online at yoursay.armidale.nsw.gov.au or hard copies can be viewed at Council’s Service Centres at 135 Rusden Street Armidale or 158 Bradley Street Guyra.

Submissions close at 5pm Monday 18 June 2018 and should be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Armidale Regional Council, PO Box 75A, Armidale 2350. They can be emailed to council@armidale.nsw.gov.au or mailed to PO Box 75A, Armidale NSW 2350, or delivered to one of our Customer Service Centres at 135 Rusden Street, Armidale or 158 Bradley Street, Guyra.

 

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