1% rate cut, $13.6 million capital works in Ararat Rural City Council Draft Budget 2020/2021

Posted Friday 8 May, 04:20pm

Ararat Rural City residents will get a 1% rate cut with $13.6 million to be invested in capital works including road upgrades, new amenities and community infrastructure under the Council’s Draft Budget 2020/2021.

CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the Draft Budget also outlines a budgeted operating surplus of $4.661 million, an improvement from the forecast surplus of $1.631 million for 2019/2020, a measure of financial sustainability.

Dr Harrison said that at its meeting on Wednesday night, the Council voted to place the Draft Budget on public display and invite submissions from the community.

“The Draft Budget outlines a rate cut of 1% as Council is acutely aware of the current difficulties around the COVID-19 event and the impact this is having on our communities and economy,” he said.

“The cut to general rates will help keep rates as close as possible to last year. The budget impact of this decision is $445,000, which will be recouped through organisational efficiencies and not affect delivery of Council services.”

Dr Harrison said the Draft Budget aimed to fund ongoing service delivery and the renewal of infrastructure and community assets while not unduly increasing the rate burden in any rating sector.

“This year’s budget aims to fund key elements of the Council Plan 2017-2021, which was also placed on public display for comment at Wednesday’s meeting,” he said.

“The budget outlines key infrastructure projects for the community including the completion of Ararat on the Move projects at a cost of $650,000. This includes the new netball courts and female-friendly amenities at the Alexandra Oval precinct and upgrades to the Ararat Skate Park.

“Other projects in the Draft Budget include upgrades to rural roads such as Darlington-Carranballac Road ($558,000), Woorndoo-Streatham Road ($1.967 million), and Tatyoon Road ($3.11 million).

“Council will also invest $898,614 in arts, culture and heritage, $250,000 in drainage renewal, and $325,000 in bridges.”

Other projects outlined in the Draft Budget include:

  • Laby Street drainage and upgrades – $60,000
  • Baird Street road and drainage upgrades – $160,000
  • Truscott Street upgrades – $376,000
  • Heath Street upgrades – $800,000
  • Willaura-Wickliffe Road upgrades – $1.375m
  • Road resheeting work – $1m
  • Road resealing work – $1.405m
  • Foot and bike paths – $160,000
  • Plant and equipment – $965,000
  • Property and buildings – $910,000

Residents can download a copy of the Draft Budget by clicking here. A hard copy of the document can be obtained by phoning the Council office on (03) 5355 0200.

Submissions on the budget must be in writing and addressed to the Chief Executive Officer, Ararat Rural City Council, PO Box 246, Ararat, VIC, 3377 or sent via email to council@ararat.vic.gov.au. If you wish to address Council in relation to your submission, please include the request in your submission and Council officers will contact you in relation to how this will occur in light of COVID-19 restrictions.