Beginning construction on the City Centre Renewal, completing major projects and maintaining community service levels are at the heart of the 2016-2017 Warrnambool City Council budget.
The budget has also allocated funds for improvements at Lake Pertobe, the Botanic Gardens and Brierly Reserve, an upgrade of the Ziegler Parade bridge and advancing a joint library proposal with South West TAFE.
Over $55 million is assigned to maintaining the broad range of services Council provides to the community while almost $15 million is set aside for capital works projects.
The rate increase in line with the 2.5 per cent cap set by the State Government, which is determined by the forecast movement in the Consumer Price Index.
2016-2017 also marks the third year that the Federal Government has frozen Assistance Grants, which has had a cumulative impact of $600,000.
Warrnambool City Council CEO Bruce Anson said that the budget was a “responsible and measured document, with a commitment to getting things done”.
“The City Centre Renewal is a once-in-a-generation project that will create a vibrant, 21st century city centre, with work on Stage I to commence in February 2017,” he said.
“Completing projects such as the Simpson St drainage tunnel will serve our city for decades to come.
“Rate capping poses a challenge, but through careful financial management and a commitment to innovation and efficiency, we have been able to deliver a budget which will not impact on Council service levels.
“Services such as Meals on Wheels, the library, early years services and the maintenance of recreation areas are highly valued by our community and we are dedicated to providing the best service possible to our residents.”
• Commencement of construction of Stage One of the $15.0 million City Centre Revitalisation project;
• $2.7 million allocated for Stage Two of the Simpson Street Drainage project;
• $2.6 million for road upgrades;
• $1.2 million for renewal and upgrade of the Ziegler Parade Allansford bridge;
• $1.2 million for building renewal works with the major focus recreational facilities;
• $690,000 in parks and open space improvements including initiatives at Lake Pertobe, Botanic Gardens and Brierly Reserve;
• $200,000 to identify and improve linkage paths around the City;
• $200,000 to advance the joint library proposal;
• $500,000 available through the Small Infrastructure Fund to improve the linkages and liveability of local neighbourhood areas within the municipality;
• $295,000 to improve facilities at the Holiday Parks;
• $300,000 to develop car parking at the Railway Precinct;
• $180,000 for improvements at the Warrnambool Livestock Exchange;
• $140,000 for strategic land use planning projects;
• $60,000 to develop the 2016-2026 Sport Recreation & Physical Activity Strategy; and
• Maintaining at current levels the wide range of existing services provided to the community.