Serpentine Jarrahdale falls below threshold measuring sound financial health

THE Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale is once again scoring below the threshold for sound financial health.

In 2014/15 it was a healthy 86 after a score of 53 the year before, but in 2015/16 it fell once again to 56 as a result of its sustainability ratios, which is a common problem in fast growing communities.

According to the My Council website, a financial health index result of 70 and above indicates sound financial health.

The shire is now focussing on putting money into reserves, with the total value of reserves increased by $243,000 during the year.

Reserve funds were drawn on to fund the Kalimna Oval Club Facility, minor upgrades to the Briggs Park lower oval, locality funding projects and to assist residents with the clean-up after a storm in Serpentine.

“This community has a challenge to keep rates at acceptable levels while funding, and maintaining, much needed community assets,” acting chief executive Gary Clark said in the shire’s annual report released late last year.

“The shire’s long term financial plan and capital renewal program is being reviewed in 2017. We will be asking the community to help prioritise the spending so that we can provide the best value for money to the community.”

He said the shire needed infrastructure but residents did not want high rates.