Geraldton council adopts ‘no frills’ budget

Francesca MannGeraldton Guardian
City of Greater Geraldton councillors have approved a 1.5 per cent rate rise across the board.
Camera IconCity of Greater Geraldton councillors have approved a 1.5 per cent rate rise across the board. Credit: Geoff Vivian, The Geraldton Guardian

City of Greater Geraldton councillors have unanimously agreed to adopt the 2019-20 budget and increase rates across the board by 1.5 per cent.

During last night’s council meeting, councillors described the budget as “responsible”, “no frills” and “business as usual”.

The rate in the dollar for 2019-20 will be set at 14.8529¢ for residential properties, 12.2934¢ for non-residential properties and 0.7775¢ for unimproved value (UV) properties.

According to the City’s newly adopted Long Term Financial Plan for 2019-2029, increases to rates over the next 10 years will be contained within a range of 1.5 to 2 per cent a year.

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Minimum payments will remain frozen at $1010, while the interest rate charged on outstanding rates has been lowered to nine per cent.

While City staff can expect a 1.8 per cent pay rise, wages for councillors, the mayor and chief executive will not increase.

Councillors also agreed to adopt the 2019-20 Capital Works Program, which allocates $20 million towards asset renewal and $6.9 million for new capital projects.

During 2019-20, more than 12km of sealed roads will be resurfaced and 61km of unsealed roads will be re-sheeted.

Big ticket items listed in the budget includes new toilet facilities at the HMAS Sydney II Memorial, much-needed upgrades to the Aquarena, and, according to Mayor Shane Van Styn, a “significant investment” in Rangeway and Spalding.

The City has budgeted for a minor surplus of $85,000.

The Local Government Cost Index, which measures the inflation of cost pressures on councils, now sits at 1.8 per cent.

More in Friday’s Geraldton Guardian.

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