Big projects to cost residents

Cr Darrell Jones and Jonathan Throssell at the site of the new indoor recreation|facility . d423461
Cr Darrell Jones and Jonathan Throssell at the site of the new indoor recreation|facility . d423461

After passing its 2014-15 budget this week, the Shire has lifted rates by 7.3 per cent ” the second highest of any metropolitan area local government and up from a 6 per cent increase last financial year.

Shire chief executive Jonathan Throssell attributed the jump to an upcoming project.

‘The 7.3 per cent increase in 2014-15 is part of the funding strategy for the Mundaring Indoor Recreation Facility,’ he said.

The Shire has more projects in mind, budgeting for a hefty loan of $16 million to be drawn down on June 30 next year. The loan is due to be repaid over the next three years.

Despite not taking out any new loans in the past four financial years, Mr Throssell said the decision to borrow $16 million was unrelated to pending council amalgamations.

‘The loan is for the construction of the Mundaring Indoor Recreation Facility and the community hub at Boya Oval, and redevelopment of Brown Park Community Centre,’ Mr Throssell said.

‘The Mundaring Indoor Recreation Facility development was brought forward due to State Government funding of $3 million over the next two financial years being made available.’

The community hub will include a replacement library and community meeting space and the Mundaring Indoor Recreation Facility will include a four-court stadium next to the Mundaring Hard Courts.

The Shire’s total operating revenue for 2014-15 is forecast to be $47.7 million, with almost 50 per cent coming from rates.

Total capital expenditure for 2014-15 is forecast to be $16 million, with more than $10 million going to land and buildings and just under $5 million to infrastructure. The Shire has forecast to use $9.1 million from its cash-backed reserves to fund capital expenditure.