Council to spend millions

Tatiara District Council has adopted its Annual Business Plan and Budget - with projects worth more than $8 million - at a special council meeting on July 1.

Recognising the impact of COVID-19, council resolved to reduce the general rate increase proposed in the draft budget from 2.1 per cent to 0.7 per cent.

Mayor Graham Excell said the proposed budget had been prepared during what are uncertain times. "The health emergency has changed the way we live and do business. While restrictions are easing, some of these changes will likely stay with us for a long time," Mr Excell said.

"We have reduced the general rates increase projected in our draft to 0.7 per cent and maintained CWMS charges at the 2019/20 levels.

Unfortunately, the cost of waste and recycling processing has increased significantly in recent times, and we had to increase our refuse collection and disposal charge by $10 to recover some of these costs."

In its largest budget in years, council expects to raise operating revenue of $17,314,742, compared to operating expenditure of $17,420,893, resulting in a small deficit of $106,151.

"The budget reflects a very busy works schedule for the 2020/21 financial year, thanks in large part to substantial grants funding," Mr Excell said.

"Where our capital expenditure in a normal year usually sits somewhere between $4 - $5.3 million, this year we have budgeted for $8.3 million in capital projects - including capital grants income of $2.3 million."

Construction and improvement of local infrastructure will be a critical stimulus for the recovery of the local economy. Highlights of the proposed $8.3 million capital works program include:

Pigeon Flat Road widening: total cost $500,000 - seeking Special Local Roads Program (SLRP) funding of $330,000.

Tatiara Road widening: total cost $400,000 - seeking SLRP funding of $270,000.

Victoria Parade Bridge replacement: total cost $420,000 - seeking Bridges Renewal Program funding of $210,000.

Bordertown Airstrip reseal: total cost $204,000 - Federal Government funding of $102,000 has been approved.

Keith Industrial Estate Stage 2: total cost $600,000 for the creation of five additional allotments off Old Wynarling Road.

Footpath Projects: Bruce Avenue (Keith), and McLeod Street, Cannawigara Road and DeCourcey Street (Bordertown).

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