Serpentine Jarrahdale falls below threshold measuring sound financial health

Expenditure on infrastructure has pushed the shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale  down on the financial health index
Expenditure on infrastructure has pushed the shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale down on the financial health index

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 are 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.

The Shire has developed a more efficient building approvals process and removed the requirement for outside contractors, which has resulted in a stability in fees, according to the annual report.

The shire’s planners determined 554 development applications and 1567 building approvals.

It is also working to reduce debt levels, with outstanding debt sitting at $1.75 million at June 30 last year, down from $2.11 million the previous year.

Last financial year the chief executive positions paid $210,000-$219,000.

Projects completed last financial year include:

Construction of the Serpentine Skate Park.

Completion of the Kalimna Oval Community Facility.

Completion of the Byford and Districts Country Club.

Upgrades to the Serpentine St John Ambulance Building.

Demolition of the Millbrook Bridge.

Mundijong Oval Lighting Upgrade.

Refurbishment of the Shire’s Administration Building.

Refurbishment of the Mundijong Netball Courts.

Upgrade to the Mundijong Public Toilets.

Barbecue area at Byford Glades.

Jarrahdale RV Short Stay Area.