Council toughens up on spending

… But Budget also brings 5% rate rise

Funding cuts by the Federal Government has seen the District Council of Mallala (DCM) adjust its proposed operating expenditure for this financial year.

DCM endorsed its 2014/15 budget at its June 23 meeting – which includes a five per cent rate rise equivalent to around $55 per property based on average council rates of $1521 – and voted to cut spending by $120,000.

DCM chief executive officer, Charles Mansueto, said council took into consideration the reduction in Federal funding for road infrastructure.

“To offset the reduction in grant funding of $120,000 council has moved to reduce its income operating expenditure by the equivalent amount,” Mr Mansueto said. Reductions in operating expenditure include delaying the start of council’s new planning officer position by six months, saving $45,000, reducing council’s discretionary fund by $15,000 and its building maintenance fund by $20,000, with the remaining balance of $40,000 split across “various operational costs”.

Mr Mansueto said council’s five percent rate rise was in line with its Long Term Financial Plan (LTFP) and would allow it to deliver on new initiatives in a sustainable manner, with no reductions in service levels.

The following are major budget items for the 2014/2015 year:

• $600,000 for a roundabout at the intersection of Mallala Road and Old Port Wakefield Road

• $32,000 for local government elections to be held in November 2014

• $21,000 for a customer request software system

• $35,000 contribution for a regional human resources role

• $20,000 for a horse industry study

• $2000 for Mallala Museum electrical upgrade

As well as the above major bids, council has also endorsed the following road allocations:

• Marshman Road, Mallala (Reallocation from 2013/2014) $130,000

• Elizabeth Street, Mallala (Reallocation from 2013/2014) $ 41,000

• Hill Road, Mallala $220,000

• Gameau Road Spoon Drain $18,200

Community consultation on the draft budget closed last month and only one submission was received from residents.

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