PORT Lincoln ratepayers will not have to pay a separate rate for an indoor aquatic facility following a negative response to the proposal in the council’s draft annual business plan.
Port Lincoln ratepayers will not have to pay a separate rate for an indoor aquatic facility following a negative response to the proposal in the council’s draft annual business plan.
The separate rate, which would have raised $2 million over two years for development, planning and procurement costs for a pool facility, was proposed in the draft plan but feedback during the community consultation process prompted the council to scrap the idea.
Of the 451 people who responded to the council’s online survey about the draft plan, 75 per cent supported the provision of an indoor aquatic facility, but less than half of those people (41.6 per cent) supported the idea of a separate rate.
The council will instead borrow an extra $1 million to cover seed funding for the pool project if it goes ahead, with a decision set to be made in the next few months.
Mayor Bruce Green said it had not been an easy budget for the council.
“Provision has been made for investing in an indoor aquatic centre should that decision be made, as well as maintaining our existing assets and of course delivering the services people expect,” Mr Green said.
“General rates will rise 6 per cent with a further 0.4 per cent in additional revenue coming from new properties paying rates.
“For an average property with rates of just under $1200 this means an increase of less than $100 – still a significant increase.”
Councillor Mick Bascombe voted against the budget saying it was “financially irresponsible”.
Mr Bascombe said the rate rise would actually be more than 8 per cent when all the additional charges were taken into account.
“That’s double what most other councils in the state are doing, most are under 4 per cent”.
Some projects listed in the draft business plan have been deferred to future years as they were rated as lower priorities by the community in business plan consultation.
These include the Laguna Beach off-street car park, the upgrade of the Bishop Street Reserve opposite the Port Lincoln Hotel and continued replacement of fencing along the rail corridor.
Waste management remains the council’s biggest single expense consuming $3 million or 20 per cent of its operational expenditure.
“The budget increases the waste and recycling levies to $230 in total, which will recoup around 85 per cent of the costs,” Mr Green said.
This story Administrator ready to work first appeared on Nanjing Night Net.