AlburyCity’s draft budget 2019-20 is now open for community comment and we’re keen to hear your feedback as we work towards implementing some exciting projects for the city.
We’re proposing a low rates rise of 2.7 per cent – or about 60 cents extra a week for the average household – with no increase to water, sewerage or waste collection charges.
Within this framework, we’re funding 2,800 expenditure items with a capital works spend of $58M.
As always, there’s a strong focus on improving our roads and footpaths with major works to include the ongoing revitalisation of Wagga Road at Lavington and the redevelopment of Kerr Road as well as other works to help meet growth demands at Thurgoona-Wirlinga.
Water and sewerage projects are also a big ticket item, with a $16.4M program to install new mains – again with an eye on growth at Thurgoona - and replace ageing infrastructure across the city.
In the sporting arena, we’re pushing ahead to the next stage of the Lavington Sports Ground redevelopment. There’ll also be improvements to the Lauren Jackson Sports Centre and new terrace seating at the Les O’Brien Athletics Complex as well as detailed designs for a state-of-the-art regional skate park in David Street.
The draft budget also proposes important environmental and educational projects at the Albury Waste Management Centre, design planning for major upgrades to the Albury Entertainment Centre, an expansion of the general aviation precinct at the airport and improvements to Glenmorus Memorial Gardens.
In the cultural sphere, we’re planning to restock the shelves at our libraries and transform the old pump house in Waterworks Road into a hub for artists and creators, while a program of public arts will continue to beautify our streets and other public places.
Of course, the Murray River is at the heart of our identity in Albury and we’re really excited about plans to enhance the foreshore between Oddies Creek Park and Wonga Wetlands. These works will also see a start on the development of a visitor experience centre at the wetlands and the extension of the very popular Wagirra Trail.
We’re also ensuring we remain a smart community, as well as one that offers lifestyle and investment opportunities. In the coming financial year, we’ll continue our ‘Smart Communities’ work with Wodonga Council – so keep an eye an eye for signposts to our digital future, such as smart bins and lights.
Speaking of lights, the draft budget also funds the ongoing replacement of all our old halogen street lights with LED lamps – a move that will reduce our energy consumption and cut energy costs by about 25 per cent.
These are just some of the many projects that will progress under the draft budget – a document that was designed by the community, for the community.
It’s driven by our Albury 2030 Strategic Plan, a vision created by the people of Albury to map out our long-term social, economic and environmental future, so to continue to enhance that partnership, we’re very keen to hear your thoughts on the draft budget before 24 May.
We’ve hosted two community information sessions earlier this month but if you missed those, there’ll be another at the council offices in Kiewa Street on Friday 17 May at 11 am.
You can see the budget papers at the Albury and Lavington libraries and the council offices in Kiewa Street, or jump on to our website to have your say and help to drive our city into another year of growth and opportunity.
Thanks to everyone who’s helped our Councillors and AlburyCity team to create this draft budget and I look forward to continuing that community partnership as we move into an exciting new era in Albury.