A RATES hike of 5 per cent was adopted by the Shire of Serpentine Jarrahdale on July 25, expected to yield the shire a surplus of $40,822.
This year, the Shire’s budget aims to maintain current service levels, increase financial reserves and deliver an essential capital expenditure program.
However, the budget process had its share of controversy, with some councillors demanding the budget only include fully costed projects after it emerged businesses cases for a handful of projects were incomplete.
A condition was added to the officer’s recommendation after an 8-1 vote on July 25 to ensure a handful of un-costed projects was fully funded prior to commencement.
These projects include a $200,000 skate park for the Briggs Park Youth Precinct, $75,000 worth of reticulation for Serpentine Polocrosse, and a $55,000 water tank for Hopeland Community Hall.
Residents had also raised concerns over the 5 per cent rise in rates, and the council’s dismissal of petitions it deemed irrelevant.
The Shire responded to ratepayer’s concerns by posting a short video on its website detailing how it spends rates.
Most of the revenue is spent on waste removal, roads and paths, and planning.
Capital works attracts $5.74 of every $100 of rates revenue spent, and a further $3.67 is spent lobbying the Shire’s interests.
Under the new budget, councillors will be paid $16,205 annually for attending council meetings, and the president will be paid $25,091 plus a president’s allowance of 0.002 per cent of the shire’s operating revenue for the last financial year.
The deputy’s allowance is 25 per cent of the president’s allowance and all members will get an information and communication technology allowance of $3500.
Other projects requiring approved business cases:
Jarrahdale Recreational Vehicle Site $49,657
Byford Dog Park $35,000
Recreation Centre – Upgrade Flooring $33,523
Upgrade Animal Pound Facility $18,400
Byford Tennis Courts Resurfacing $15,000