TOWN of Claremont ratepayers will get a rate increase of 2 per cent after councillors adopted the 2016-17 budget on Tuesday.
The budget also includes a two per cent increase in staff salary which equates to $144,000 for all staff.
Councillor Bruce Haynes said the budget process had been “onerous” and “rigorous” but would achieve “excellent results”.
“We are lucky that we are a council well placed to meet the obligations and provide upgrade and maintenance because other councils cannot,” he said.
“We should reflect on the fact that we are able to.”
The Town’s budget will be funded by a rate increase of 2 per cent taking into account the Consumer Price Index (CPI) increase of 1.5 per cent plus an additional 0.5 per cent, which reflects the cost of doing business in the building and construction industry.
An estimated surplus of $888,105 brought forward from June 30 provided extra funds for the 2016-17 budget.
Cr Karen Wood said the fact council had kept the rate increase low was “quite incredible”.
Mayor Jock Barker said the budget was a testament to the Town’s financial management.
“Our focus, this financial year, will be to deliver on our core business so as not to put an unnecessary burden on ratepayers during these challenging economic times,” he said.
The budget allocates $3 million towards capital works such as the renewal of roads, footpaths and parking areas.
A further $1 million will be put towards the renewal of the Town’s buildings including $700,000 to redevelop the Freshwater Bay Museum, including a new public toilet in adjoining Mrs Herbert’s Park.
The redevelopment of the Claremont Aquatic Centre and the redesign of the Claremont Golf Course by golfer Terry Gale will also begin in the next financial year.
An additional $42,000 has been allocated to arts and culture to fund initiatives such as the Town’s Art Transforming Claremont Festival and Art Award and Exhibition.
The Town will again match the $120,000 raised by a Specified Area Rate on businesses located in the Claremont Town Centre.