The 2017/2018 Tatiara District Council draft budget has been distributed throughout the community for the opportunity for feedback.
Council is consulting on its budget priorities and rates for the period, and will hold a public forum in the Council Chambers from 6pm on June 13.
Those who would like to have their say and are unable to attend can alternatively send in a written submission before June 8.
Tatiara CEO Rob Harkness said that council needed to strike a balance between delivering community outcomes and maintaining financial sustainability.
“Over the last 18 months or so the feedback we have received indicates that residents are generally happy with the current direction of council,” Mr Harkness said.
The budget and annual business plan includes information about the programs projects, activities and initiatives that Council will undertake during the 2017/2018 period and how council will fund it’s budget including information about valuation changes, rate increases and service charge changes.
Tatiara Mayor Graham Excel said that the past year had been extremely positive, especially for the rural sector.
“A better than average harvest, good lamb and wool prices, the beef market remains stable and although the vintage recently harvested had some challenging weather conditions was completed with fair results.
“The Tatiara continues to grow in the business sector, with a new large business proposed to operate from Bordertown and the Bordertown Industrial Estate planned on an extension of the 3rd Stage next financial year.”
“Taking the above into consideration Council has prepared a budget that includes 2.4% in additional general rate revenue.
“This follows 2 years where we had a zero rate increase in 2016/17 and a 4.4% rate reduction in 2015/16.
Mayor Excell highlights that although the overall rate increase is 2.4% different rate payers will be affected differently depending on changes to their property values.
“Keith township has had increases of up to 10% whilst the other towns haven’t changed.
“There are also variations in rural areas with some hundreds not changing in value whilst other areas have had valuation increases of between 4 and 8%,” he said.
“Within the budget Council continues a strong recognition that our businesses and residents rely on a well maintained road network.
Funds have been allocated to resealing existing sealed roads and to re-sheet and grade the Tatiara’s rubble roads.
“There are also funds to carry out upgrades to important roads and intersections like Meatworks Road, Ridgway Road, Tatiara Road, Ramsay Terrace and the western service road at Keith and funds to replace or upgrade footpaths and kerbing.”
Additionally in the draft budget, council recognises that to attract visitors and new residents to the Tatiara, there is need for well maintained facilities inclusive of parks, gardens, public toilets, playgrounds and sporting fields.
“If you have any queries or comments to make about the budget I strongly encourage you to make contact with Council,” Mayor Excel said.
The community forums being held are an opportunity to come along and ask questions or make comments on what council is doing or plans to do.
Copies of the draft budget and plan as well as valuation and rating maps are avaliable now at the Bordertown and Keith offices and on council’s website at www.tatiara.sa.gov.au