Town of Claremont rate increase proposed

A PROPOSED 2.9 per cent rate increase will be considered as part of the Town of Claremont⿿s draft budget.

At last week’s meeting, the council voted unanimously to authorise the release of the 2015-16 draft budget for public comment until June 15.

While rates have dropped steadily in the past, Deputy Mayor Bruce Haynes said a slight hike meant the Town could offer better services.

“This budget and previous Claremont budgets are different to other councils because we are spending high amounts on renewing our assets, including our roads and footpaths,” Cr Haynes said.

“Not being able to renew assets is a structural problem across many metro and country councils, because Commonwealth Government support has been cut and their rates don’t cover it.

“However unlike some, which are in poor condition, we are now on track.”

More than $1 million has been included to renew road infrastructure, almost $500,000 has been set aside for footpaths and $250,000 has been budgeted for public toilets in the CBD.

The rates increase will allow extra money to be spent on hiring more parking officers and rangers.

Cr Haynes said with interest rates falling, the Town had also decided to dip into its reserves and pay off some debt.

For more information on the budget, visit www.claremont.wa.gov.au.