The Draft Budget will be placed on display for community feedback, following its endorsement by Councillors at their meeting on 26 April.
The budget totals $159M in expenditure and features capital works of $63M, which will include:
- $11.8M for roads, bridges and footpaths
- $10.3M for recreation projects
- $21.8M on water and wastewater works, and
- $6.5M to replace, improve or upgrade public buildings
The budget also proposes a rate rise of 2.3 per cent for the average household and an increase of 1.8 per cent for businesses. Waste management charges will return to pre-COVID-19 levels and no increase to water and sewer charges is proposed for 2021/22.
AlburyCity Mayor Kevin Mack said the rates increases were kept to a minimum to help the community move further through the COVID recovery process.
“When all rates, water, sewerage and waste management charges are combined, the extra cost to local householders adds up to about $1.37 a week,” he said.
“Although we’ve kept the rises low, we’ve also been able to fund a range of important works that will not only improve our city but also generate economic activity that will create jobs and investment opportunities.”
The draft budget includes a $500,000 COVID-19 relief package which includes provision of $150,000 for residential ratepayers suffering hardship as a result of COVID-19, $100,000 for a visitAlburyWodonga destination marketing activation program; nil fees per chair for outdoor dining, street vending and A-frame advertising; $50,000 for the waiving of lease and licensing fees for community and sporting groups; and zero interest applied to overdue rates from 1 July to 31 December 2021.
Some of the major projects proposed in this year’s budget include:
- $3.9M for the next stages of the Riverside Precinct construction
- $2.6M to deliver the new Albury Regional Skate Park
- $3.5M to rehabilitate our roads and drains
- $1.7M to improve or replace public toilets across the city, and
- $500,000 for the ongoing extension of the Wagirra Trail
AlburyCity CEO Frank Zaknich said other significant works would include important health, lifestyle, and safety improvements, such as new paths and cycleways, and ongoing improvements to sports grounds, as well as the installation of CCTV cameras at Lavington.
“We’re also continuing to focus on our city’s growth, with major works at Thurgoona-Wirlinga to meet the needs of the area’s expanding population,” Mr Zaknich said.
“Among those projects will be a new playground at Ernest Grant Park for an increasing number of young families, while design work for the Thurgoona Link Roads will continue as we work towards ensuring the right transport infrastructure is in place as more homes are built.”
The draft budget also drives important environmental and cultural projects, including design works for the new Wonga Wetlands Education and Experience Centre and the next stage in a proposal to develop a modern convention wing at the Albury Entertainment Centre to help the city gain a larger slice of the important convention-driven visitor market.
“These are just some of the new initiatives proposed in a draft budget that will make our city an even better place to live and work, and of course we’re keen to get community feedback as we work to finalise the budget plan,” Mr Zaknich said.
The 2021/22 Draft Budget will be placed on public display nd community members will be asked to have a say online, while public forums will be held on:
- Tuesday 4 May, 5.30pm - AlburyCity Offices, Robert Brown Room Ground Floor, 553 Kiewa Street, Albury
- Thursday 13 May, 11am - Mirambeena Community Centre, 19 Martha Mews, Lavington
- Tuesday 18 May, 5.30pm - AlburyCity Offices, Robert Brown Room, Ground Floor, 553 Kiewa Street, Albury
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