Big surplus and bin price hike in council budget
FRANKSTON Council have ticked off on their proposed budget for 2019/2020, projecting a healthy surplus at the end of the financial year and approving a price increase for their bin collection service.
Council’s proposed budget reported a projected surplus of $22.09 million, but noted that the “underlying result is a surplus of $11.18 million after adjusting for capital grants and contributions. That figure is listed as “of most concern as council’s long term financial viability depends on its ability to make an operating surplus on a day to day basis in order to fund the replacement of assets and to fund new projects.”
The budget for 2019/2020 includes a 5 per cent increase to council’s green waste service charge and a 7.5 per cent increase in their general waste collection service “incorporating kerbside collection and recycling”.
The charge per rateable property for an 80 litre residential bin picked up weekly has jumped from $281.60 to $302.70. The cost for a 120 litre bin jumped from $353.70 to $380.20.
As a result of the price hike on waste collection, council expects to raise an extra $1.72 million in revenue. The “increased service cost resulting from the pressures impacting the recycling industry” is listed as an external influence in the decision to hike general waste charges. It is stated in the proposed budget that “the industry continues to be challenged by the contamination standards required by the international markets using recycled products.”
The budget boasts a $24.35 million investment into the “preservation of local amenity and promotion of a safe clean and attractive city”. $19.4 million has been set aside for “investment to provide strategies for the waste management needs of the municipality and the Frankston Regional Recycling and Recovery centre” while $8.7 million has been allocated “to ensure the safety of the community”.
Among the investment into community facilities found in the budget include a $2.5 million council contribution towards the Overport Park pavilion and another $2.5 million contribution towards the Ballam Park pavillion.
The proposed budget was endorsed at a special meeting of council on 8 April. The mayor Michael O’Reilly said the budget was a “great outcome for council with many projects to benefit the city.”
“The budget details how we intend to fund important community services, infrastructure, capital works and other programs over the next 12 months across our city,” Cr O’Reilly said.
“We know that community facilities such as sporting ovals, recreation reserves and open spaces are crucial to maintain the health and wellbeing of our community. Therefore, we have allocated almost $17 million to continue making improvements to these facilities, which include libraries, community centres, family support and aged facilities, recreation and aquatic facilities.
“This budget shows council is focused on improving where we live. As a city we are growing and our population is growing along with it, therefore it is vital that we continue to deliver needed services, maintain our assets and invest in new community focused infrastructure.”
The next step for the budget is community consultation. A public briefing will take place on Wednesday 17 April at the council building from 6.30pm. Submissions relating to the budget must be made in writing and be received by council before 5pm, 7 May to be considered. The final budget will be adopted at a special council meeting on 20 May.
The proposed budget can be viewed at frankston.vic.gov.au/AnnualBudget
First published in the Frankston Times – 15 April 2019
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