George Town Council predicts budget surplus

George Town Council’s proposed 2018/2019 budget is expected to be back in surplus with the help of a federal grant. 

It is estimated the council will have a $10.2 million revenue, and an expenditure of $10.8 million. 

However, the federal government’s Federal Assistance Grant of $913,846 will put the council back in the black. 

At the council’s meeting on Wednesday, its upcoming budget and capital works program will be tabled for discussion. 

George Town mayor Bridget Archer said the budget built on the extensive work done in the past year to improve its position. 

“Whilst council has undertaken an extensive organisational review, we are committed to maintaining and enhancing service delivery to the community," Cr Archer said. 

The budget includes a non-residential rate increase of about 2.4 per cent, taking the minimum amount from $685 to $702. 

Under the proposed budget, Beechford, Bellingham, Lefroy, Lulworth and Weymouth would have a yearly residential rate rise of $57. Hillwood, Mount Direction, Pipers Brook and Pipers River would have a yearly increase of $47, while George Town and Low Head’s rates would rise by $26 per annum. 

The proposed capital works budget has an expenditure of more than $8 million, with nearly $6 million of that being new money. 

The largest capital works project would be the $6 million road project funded by the federal government, with construction on Soldier Settlement Road already underway and tenders open for the design of Industry Road. 

About $80,000 is also budgeted to be spent on the council chambers. A kitchen upgrade worth $15,000 is expected and about $30,000 to be spent on the council’s two car parks. 

“The proposed capital program has been developed in consultation with community groups who have put forward their priorities for consideration,” Cr Archer said. 

More than $450,000 would be spent on the region’s parks, open spaces and streetscapes. About $423,000 would be spent on building and structures. 

Depending on reviews, $329,000 is budgeted to spend on plant, machinery and equipment replacements.  

“Council staff have put many hours into developing a budget with a focus on ongoing sustainability,” Cr Archer said. The meeting will begin at 1pm on Wednesday.