Rate rises to help fund big projects

Of the predicted $175 million expenditure, $40 million will be spent on capital works with the remainder going to operating costs.

Major projects to be funded in the financial year include $5.4 million to start work on a multi-storey car park on Boas Avenue, $1 million to complete work on the Currambine Community Centre and $900,000 to upgrade Admiral Park in Heath-ridge.

The city will spend $1.2 million on new footpaths, bike trails and bike parking facilities as part of its recently adopted walkability plan.

Chief executive Garry Hunt told the council meeting the budget was closely aligned to the city’s 20-year strategic plan.

‘Often organisations adopt strategic plans and then go about dismantling them,’ he said.

‘I’m proud that this council hasn’t done that.’

Mr Hunt said increasing waste disposal costs had put the most pressure on the city’s finances.

‘It’s the major cost increase we face each year,’ he said.

Mayor Troy Pickard acknowledged rate rises were never popular, but said the council had worked hard to deliver a balanced budget.

‘I think the community accepts that as a large local government, we need to keep pace with the costs of running a large city, and rather than a reduction of services, they want us to expand and improve services,’ he said.

‘The city takes great pride in delivering a broad range of award-winning services, initiatives and programs to a connected and engaged local community of 161,000 residents.’

Ratepayers in the City of Wanneroo will face a |5.5 per cent increase in rates next financial year, after the council adopted its 2013-14 budget on Tuesday night.

Mayor Tracey Roberts said the 2013-14 annual budget would include $200 million invested into the community, including $42.2 million in new capital works.

‘The city has grown from a population of 60,000 in 1999 to more than 170,000 residents today,’ Mrs Roberts said.

‘We have a strong and vibrant community that continues to grow both in numbers and cultural diversity.’