Claremont Council funds underground power in budget

Stock image.
Stock image.

A FLAGSHIP $11.2 million council and ratepayer-paid project bringing underground power to about 1000 remaining homes was approved by Claremont Council last month.

The project was signed off as part of the 2018-19 budget at the June 19 meeting.

“The provision of underground power to the rest of the town is clearly the highlight of this budget,” Cr Bruce Haynes said.

After rebuttals by the previous State Government, the council was able to use reserve and borrowed money for two-thirds of the project, with the remaining third being contributed by participating property owners in the north-east corner of the town – which still does not have the service.

The 2018-19 budget will complete about 40 per cent of the project after councillors approved spending $4.2m in the next 12 months, with the rest of the work to be conducted in future years.

Homes in the affected area will be charged abase rate of $3500, with a discount of 10 per cent for those already with the service.

Payment options include 20 quarterly instalments over five years and an agreement all the money owed by any property is paid before it is sold.

The budget also approved a rate increase of 1.92 per cent, which will raise a planned $14,644,403 in the budget – with the general rate set at 6.35 cents in the dollar of gross rental value.

Cr Haynes said while the rates increase was less than other councils, it would contribute to the requests of residents made during local government elections last year, including reductions in the number of fees and charges.

However, Cr Paul Kelly was successful in proposing late-minute additions to fees, including a 70c addition to the $40 cost of a trailer taking green waste to the dump, and a 60c increase to the $60 cost of a trailer of mixed waste.

The budget has a special levy across the shopping and business district of 0.2627 cents in the dollar, apart from residential properties in that neighbourhood.

Other charges include $410 for each home’s standard collection of one bin, $105 for an additional bin and $160 for additional collections.