Scenic Sawtell. 22 January 2018
Scenic Sawtell. 22 January 2018 Trevor Veale

Councillor urges Sawtell ratepayers to look at draft budget

SAWTELL ratepayers have been urged to take a close look at Coffs Harbour City Council's draft budget for the next financial year.

At last week's council meeting it was decided to put the Draft 2017-2021 Delivery Program (Year 3) on public exhibition and Councillor Keith Rhoades singled out the beautiful seaside village for a special mention.

"Sawtell has some of the most expensive rates in the LGA (local government area) but there's very little for them in this budget so I would urge Sawtell ratepayers to have a good look at this,” Cr Rhoades said.

The draft 2017-2021 Delivery Program (Year 3) includes the draft 2019/20 Operational Plan, draft 2019/20 Fees and Charges, and draft Delivery Program Budgets 2019-2021.

The general fund budget result for 2019/20, excluding capital revenue, is projected to be a $1.207

million surplus.

Coffs Harbour City Councillor Keith Rhoades (seated) .
Coffs Harbour City Councillor Keith Rhoades (seated) . Trevor Veale

"Council developed this four-year Delivery Program in 2017 with a focus on asset renewal across the local government area, and that work will continue in 2019/20,” Mayor Denise Knight who is also a Sawtell ratepayer, said.

"We need to ensure that our infrastructure is of a high standard to support a comprehensive range of services and facilities to help take Coffs Harbour into the future.”

Year 3 of the delivery program will see the continuation of a number of major projects including the Coffs Coast Regional Sports Hub; advancing the Cultural and Civic Space development initiative in the Coffs Harbour City Centre; Safer Communities Coffs CCTV and Security Lighting; the roll-out of a solar power network under council's Renewable Energy and Emissions Reduction Plan; and the adoption of the revised Local Growth Management Strategy by Council.

In 2019/20, significant funding allocations are proposed for other works across a range of asset categories. These include:

  • Major roadworks totalling $6.7m including Beach Street in Woolgoolga, Second and Third Avenues at Arrawarra Headland and Headland Road, Sapphire;
  • Bridge renewals and upgrades worth $916,192;
  • $2.8m worth of footpaths and cycleways including Moonee to Sapphire, Sandy Beach Reserve and King Street, Coffs Harbour;
  • Flooding and drainage infrastructure ($2.9m);
  • The extension of the public amenities program ($597,500), including the Boronia Park, Sawtell, amenities upgrade; and
  • Extensive water ($10.3m) and sewer ($8.8m) infrastructure upgrades.

The council's General Manager, Steve McGrath, urged the community to consider and comment on the draft documents.

"We believe we've developed a constructive and responsible direction for Council to follow in 2019/20, maintaining the delivery of programs and services while aiming for surplus results in the General Fund as well as the Water ($559,000) and Sewer ($472,000) Funds,” Mr McGrath said.

The draft documents - and details of how to make a submission - are available on Council's Have Your Say website.

Printed copies will also be displayed at council's Customer Service Centre and local libraries. Submissions close at 5pm on Monday, June 10.

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