THE inclusion of a number of priority expenditure items means that Coffs Harbour City Council's 2012-13 Budget will start with a deficit of more than $300,000.
Coffs Harbour City Council general manager Steve McGrath said that the deficit figure of $308,365 can be managed.
"In these tough economic times we've made spending cuts across the organisation," Mr McGrath said.
"However, increasing costs and the need to get on with a broad range of activities - in response to community expectations - has resulted in a Budget shortfall for 2012-13.
"But we can handle a deficit of this size and I'm confident that, through prudent financial management, we can bring it back to a balanced result by the end of the 2012-13 financial year."
The adopted budget incorporates a 3.6% increase in 'General Income' (income from ordinary and special rates), set for 2012-2013 by the NSW Government's 'Rate Pegging' legislation.
With increased annual and usage charges (including water, sewer and waste charges), a typical residential ratepayer can expect a total rate increase of approximately $166.95 per annum (or $3.21 per week).
The adopted Budget will facilitate the continuation of works during 2012-13 associated with the extensive flood mitigation and drainage programs, the harbour foreshores upgrade and the museum redevelopment.
New programs this year will include the Coramba water main development, the second stage of the reclaimed water pipeline, a new public amenities upgrade initiative, Bonville Rural Residential Environmental Studies and airport improvements.