Rates to increase by 3.9 per cent

Rates to increase by 3.9 per cent

Significant projects include construction, starting on a multi-storey car park in the Joondalup city centre, planning for a new hockey facility at Warwick Open Space, construction of a community facility at Bramston Park in Burns Beach and advancement of the Ocean Reef Marina and Joondalup performing arts centre.

Corporate services director Mike Tidy said the last time rates were ‘in the 3 per cents was back in 2009-10’ with a 5.2 per cent increase in 2013-14 and 4.9 per cent in 2012-13.

He said though the City would experience a doubling of the waste levy, it was able to keep the domestic refuse charge increase to ratepayers at 3.9 per cent by using a waste reserve.

The budget includes an operating expenditure of $138 million including $52.1 million for capital, of which $44.4 million is for roads, reserves and parks, $5.3 million on capital projects and $2.3 million on vehicle and plant replacement.

There are also employee costs at $58 million (42.1 per cent of expenditure).

It also includes an operations revenue of $148 million, of which 58.4 per cent is generated from rates, 26.4 per cent from fees and charges and 9 per cent from grants and subsidies.

The City proposes to borrow $13 million in 2014-15 to help fund the multi-storey car park in the city centre, the Bramston Park facility and the Warwick Open Space hockey facility.

Cr Brian Corr said he was concerned with the increased rate of borrowing.

‘It’s not a great problem at the moment but if borrowings keep going up and the repayments keep going up, we’ll really get into a situation that some other state and federal governments have been in when our borrowings are too high and repayments are too high,’ he said.

Mayor Troy Pickard said the ‘lion’s share of borrowings’ was for the ‘construction of the multi-storey carpark, which is a revenue-generating facility for the City of Joondalup’.

Mr Pickard said preparing the 2014-15 budget had been challenging on the back of tough federal and state budgets.

‘Sources of revenue other than rates, such as grant funds, are being cut or increases being frozen, and returns on investments remain subdued, while the pressure on costs and the need to maintain and provide new infrastructure continues,’ he said.

‘I was disappointed that some rhetoric we hear during election campaigns wasn’t backed up with some suggestions on how the City can save money.

‘It’s OK to be in the pubic domain and criticise the City’s rate increases, but when you sit around the table I expect that you make contributions and forward suggestions on how the City can keep rates low.

‘Most elected members did that and I thank you for that contribution that assisted to help frame the budget.’

Some budget details:

2014-15 City of Joondalup budget includes:
– $17.9 million for multi-storey carpark in the Joondalup city centre, with construction expected to start by August.
– $2.9M for a new community facility at Bramston Park, Burns Beach.
– $1.3M to start plans for a new hockey facility at Warwick Open Space.
– $1M to start construction of a new carpark next to Marmion Angling and Aquatic Club.
– $600,000 to replace floating jetties at Ocean Reef Boat Harbour.
– $700,000 for new basketball facilities at Arena Joondalup.
– $700,000 for extensions to Warwick Leisure Centre.
– $2.9M to advance the Ocean Reef Marina, Joondalup performing arts centre and other significant projects.
– $1.2M to complete streetscape and landscaping works on Shenton Avenue and the streetscape renewal program.
– $12.4M for road construction, drainage and streetlight works (includes blackspot projects at Joondalup Drive and Shenton Avenue and Hepburn Avenue and Wanneroo Road, duelling of Ocean Reef Road from Marmion Avenue to Oceanside Promenade and Whitfords Avenue from Northshore Drive to Belrose Entrance and Joondalup city centre lighting).
– $2.3M in building works and facility upgrades (includes Iluka Sports Centre, Padbury Child Care Centre, Craigie Leisure Centre, Heathridge Park club rooms, Beaumaris Community Centre, the start of the Penistone Park project and sewer connection works at Sorrento Surf Life Saving Club).
– $3.6M for parks and playground upgrades (includes major upgrade of Broadbeach and Flinders parks in Hillarys, irrigation projects at Otago (Craigie), Windermere (Joondalup), Springvale (Warwick) and Penistone (Greenwood) parks and new playground equipment at Haddington (Beldon), Illawong (Kingsley), Conidae (Heathridge), Hilton (Duncraig), Earlsferry (Kinross), Korella (Mullaloo), Brazier (Padbury) and Fenton (Hillarys) parks).
– $1.8M on maintenance for natural areas, landscaping and conservation including fencing, paths and firebreaks.
– $800,000 for new paths and bicycle parking facilities.
– $500,000 for sponsorships including $300,000 for a significant event.
– $220,000 for community funding programs for sport and community safety.
– $195,000 for donations for sport and the arts.
– $770,000 for contributions to help support CAT Bus Service, environmental projects, sporting and community groups.
– $733,000 for program activities including Joondalup Festival, Valentines Concert, Music in the Park, Little Feet Festival, Sunset Markets, Joondalup Eisteddfod, Art Awards and Exhibition, Naidoc Week, Sunday Serenades, youth festivals and programs and environmental programs.
See also: Car park approved