Council to seek feedback on Special Rate variation
COUNCILLORS voted to seek feedback from the community for a Special Rate Variation covering the 2015-16 and 2016-17 financial years.
The NSW Government's IPART will also be notified of Coffs Harbour City Council's intention to apply for the Special Rate Variation.
In June, Council received approval from IPART to increase its 'General Income' (income from ordinary and special rates) by 7.90% for 2014-15.
This permanent increase has allowed Council to generate an additional $2,019,924 in rate revenue which is being used for buildings, playgrounds and road maintenance and renewals.
"This additional revenue reduces the annual shortfall in asset maintenance and renewal from $6.2m to approximately $4.18m," Coffs Harbour City Council general manager Steve McGrath said.
Council's original proposal to IPART included all three financial years but approval was only given for the 2014-15 financial year.
"This proposed rate variation covers years two and three of the original proposal and it would see a permanent increase in Council's rate revenue (above rate pegging allowances) to close the remaining funding gap in asset maintenance and renewal over a two-year period, with a particular focus on roads," he said.
The rate rise application is one of several initiatives that Council is employing to move towards financial sustainability.
Council has started its Transformation to Sustainability project (T2S) which aims to close Council's annual operating deficit.
"The T2S program is an essential component of Council's efforts to achieve a financially sustainable position by delivering approximately $3.2M worth of annual savings at the completion of the three-year program," Mr McGrath said.
The community engagement period for the proposed special rate variation is expected to run until February. It will include mail-outs to the community, information booths and information on the Council website.
"We hope that once people have digested all the information that they will be in a great position to give us their feedback," the general manager said.