Council financials: rate rise
COFFS Harbour City Council’s current financials and 10-year projections are the basis for the proposed rate rise.
In short, the executive argues without ratepayer contributions, doing anything to stem the increasing torrents of water in the region, won’t happen.
“We are using Hurstville shire as an example of what we are talking about,” council’s Director of Corporate Business Craig Milburn said.
“In terms of population, we’re roughly the same but that’s about all. They have 22.7 square kilometres to maintain and we have 1174.
“We have 182 bridges that need to be looked after, they have none. We’ve got almost twice the number of pits and converters, four times the length of roads and 10 times the length of cycleways.
“They charge rates $111 below what we do.”
General Manager Stephen Sawtell said council is working on revenue-raising initiatives like tree farming and telemetry and actively cost-cutting by introducing VOIP telephony for example which saved almost $300,000 per year.
The long-term fiscal outlook, strategy and revenue-raising will be the subject of a financial sustainability review conducted by Australia’s leading expert in council budgeting Professor Percy Allen.
The review, to commence mid-year, will focus on eight key areas: sustainable services, sustainable infrastructure, affordable rates, fees and charges, financial viability, moderate surplus, moderate debt, services keeping up with population growth, and adequate spend on infrastructure.