District Council of Mallala endorsed its 2015/16 draft budget and business plan at its June 22 meeting, with rates expected to rise by six percent and the notable inclusion of $250,000 to move council’s administration offices to Two Wells, albeit in a temporary capacity.
DCM chief executive officer, Katrina Marton, said council had proposed a prudent budget – her first major policy-making exercise since taking up the role in May – which would pave the way for council to move forward, foster development and investment in the area and encourage growth.
“While maintaining the delivery of core services to the community, council will also invest in important projects such as the Two Wells roundabout, which are critical to the future development of the Two Wells township and the corresponding expansion of council’s revenue base,” Ms Marton said.
“As predicted in council’s current long term financial plan, council will continue to borrow to fund capital acquisition, renewal and upgrade projects.
“Council will be reviewing its Long Term Financial Plan this year, in concert with developing a new Strategic Plan 2016-2020, which will inform the next four years’ annual business plans and budgets.”
Rates are set to increase by 4.7 percent plus 1.3 percent for growth, providing a total increase in rates of six percent overall.
Council’s LTFP for the 2015/2016 year included a projected higher growth factor of 2.8 percent, which presumed the Two Wells residential development would be much more advanced, hence residents have been hit with a larger than expected rate rise.
Council has voted to keep its Fixed Charge at $100 and the Waste Service Charge at $180 for each property within the designated three-bin service area.
Other major budget items for the 2015/2016 year include:
$500,000 contribution for the Old Port Wakefield Road Roundabout
$100,000 for a review of plans for a permanent Civic Centre in Two Wells
$75,000 for a review of Strategic and Corporate Plans and Structures
$24,000 Water Projects Consultancy
$15,000 Strategic IT review
$15,000 Wasleys Bridge Engineering Report/Recommendation
$20,000 for a Two Wells Stormwater Management Plan
The $250,000 set aside to fund the temporary relocation of council’s administration to Two Wells comes under its plant and machinery budget.
It’s a move DCM mayor, Duncan Kennington, says was inevitable and one that will foster faith from residents in council’s commitment to the development of the Two Wells township.
Mr Kennington said when the budget is approved more detailed planning for the move to Two Wells will occur, with council intending to move its administration, and hence council’s principal office, to Two Wells as soon as practicable during the 2015/16 financial year.
“Such a move has many logistical considerations, but most importantly the plans will be the subject of thorough community consultation,” he said.
“It is the intention that council’s depot will remain in Mallala, and some community services will still be available in Mallala.
“We will also need to consider what use the Mallala buildings will be put to, and that is something we are keen to canvas with the community.”
Mr Kennington said council had considered a number of plans over the years to relocate to Two Wells, but nothing had progressed and the costs had been considered too prohibitive.
“By moving into temporary, but fit for purpose, accommodation, which will be installed behind council’s existing offices in Two Wells, we can afford the initial move, and once on site, we will review all previous plans and designs for civic accommodation” he said.
“The temporary offices will be re-saleable or re-deployable assets for council.
“The move is important because conditions in the Mallala offices are unsatisfactory for staff and the CEO is physically separated from the staff.
“Further, both operationally and symbolically council needs to progress its inevitable move to Two Wells, and this will be an important indicator to the community of council’s belief in its future and the Two Wells township development.”
With regard to budgeting for council’s roads and footpaths for the coming financial year, projects currently proposed for its works program include:
$234,000 for Wasleys Road drainage correction and sealing (Mallala township)
$99,000 Seal Rehabilitation
$892,000 for re-sheeting arterial unsealed roads
$172,000 for footpaths, kerbing and streetscapes
Other notable budget items include:
$41,000 for the renewal of the Dublin Lions Park
$31,000 for the Parham camping ground
$45,000 for the Mallala Institute shed roof
$45,000 for salt damp repairs, painting and renewing of fencing at the Mallala Institute.
The 2015/16 draft budget and business plan will be available for community consultation until Wednesday July 15.
Residents will also be given an opportunity to comment, ask questions and provide feedback on the draft plan as part of council’s ordinary meeting on Monday July 13 at 7pm for one hour but must register their intention to do so.
Contact DCM on 8527 0200 or email firstname.lastname@example.org by July 10 if you would like to make a verbal submission.
Copies of the draft budget and business plan can be found at the Mallala council office, Two wells service centre, Two Wells Public Library or online at www.mallala.sa.gov.au.
A special meeting of council is expected to be held on Monday July 20 to endorse the draft budget and business plan.
Until this year, the State Government funded concessions on council rates, which were formerly available to holders of pensioner concession cards, veterans, low-income earners, unemployed, students, and self-funded retirees.
The State Government abolished all these concessions on June 30 this year.
From July 1, these concessions have been replaced with a single “cost-of-living payment” provided directly to those entitled.
This payment may be used for any purpose, including offsetting council rates, however not all former recipients of rates concessions will be entitled to the new payment.
To check eligibility, contact the Department for Communities and Social Inclusion (DCSI) Concessions Hotline 1800 307 758 or visit www.sa.gov.au.