George Town Council to vote on rating structure and budget for 2017-18

Residents at Beechford, Bellingham, Lefroy, Lulworth and Weymouth could be faced with a rates increase of 6.43 per cent.

Budget estimates for the George Town Council indicate that a weekly increase for residential rates would be between 50 cents and $1.10.

This is based on increase of between 2.5 per cent and 6.43 per cent varied on locality and factored into the average area rate for the residential sector.

The average area rates for residents in Hillwood, Mount Direction, Pipers Brook and Pipers River would see a 5.02 per cent increase.

For those living in George Town and Low Head the rise is proposed as 2.5 per cent.

The agenda for Wednesday’s special council meeting said the underlying deficit is estimated at $1,122,500 or an underlying surplus ratio of negative 11.58 per cent.

“A negative underlying deficit is not recommended and not in compliance with council’s adopted financial strategy which calls for a positive underlying surplus of 0.5 per cent of operating income,” the agenda said.

The budgeted deficit for 2016-17 was expected to be $692,066 but the actual deficit was $832,630.

The total operational expenditure budgeted for the council in 2017-18 is $11.7 million while income is estimated at $9.69 million.

However, a prepayment of the council’s federal assistance grant for the 2017-18 year was received in June.

“This will mean that, although operational grant revenue will be reported as reduced by the $913,846 in 2017/2018, the carried forward cash is available to fund the 2017-18 budget,” the agenda said.