Kiama Coucil is proposing a 2.4 per cent rate rise to cover the cost of not receiving income from land development. Picture: ORLANDO CHIODOFor many years Kiama Municipal Council has benefited from income derived from its land development program through projects such as the Elambra Estate in Gerringong.
But with the council’s work on Elambra now finished, the 2015-16 financial year will be the first year in decades the council will not receive income from land development.
Kiama’s draft 2015-16 budget is now on public exhibition and open for comment until May 29.
Kiama Council is proposing a residential rate rise of 2.4 per cent, which is in line with the rate peg limit set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART), set in response to low inflation and subdued public sector wages growth.
Kiama Mayor Brian Petschler described the budget as ‘‘a balanced budget’’.
He said with the Elambra housing estate at Gerringong finished, the coming financial year would be the first in decades where the council would not receive income from land development.
‘‘There is still significant funds in reserve, some of which will be used next year for capital works, but it is now a declining resource,’’ Cr Petschler said.
He said a milestone would be reached next financial year with the last remaining timber bridge in the municipality at Cloonty Road, near Carrington Falls, replaced with a concrete bridge at a cost of $500,000.
‘‘The elimination of all our major wooden bridges is something we have been working on over many years,’’ Cr Petschler said.
He said while the council was content not to apply for a rate rise above the 2.4 per cent limit this year, council staff were now doing projections on future budgets.
‘‘What happens with future budgets will depend on what reserves we have and the tightening of revenue sources but it is too early to talk about that now,’’ he said.
The next financial year will be a good year for Jamberoo with $150,000 allocated for an upgrade of the town’s streetscape and $450,000 for an upgrade to the amenities block at Kevin Walsh Oval.
An allocation of $200,000 will see the Jamberoo Valley cycleway inch closer to the township.
The council has also allocated $650,000 to decommission Jerrara Dam, matching the allocation made in the current financial year.
Almost $800,000 has been allocated to fund eight projects in the Kiama Harbour/Blowhole Point precinct including $170,000 for energy efficient lighting and $80,000 to stabilise the bank near the Blowhole Point tennis courts.
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