RATEPAYERS in Charters Towers will pay an extra 1.89 per cent on their rates and charges in the 2020/21 financial year after council handed down its budget today.
It is the first budget of this council's four year team, which Mayor Frank Beveridge said took a balanced approach to 'keep the region going and growing.'
Ratepayers will be slugged with an rise of 1.89 per cent across all rates and charges including general rates, water, excess water, sewerage and waste management.
However, due to the continuation of rate capping to 15 per cent on various rate categories, following significant valuation changes to some properties in 2018, some properties will experience an increase greater than 1.89 per cent.
Residents will continue to have a choice of either allocation, or two-part tariff for water charges with the annual allocation remaining at 750kL a year.
Cr Beveridge said the budget provided for continued investment in maintaining and improving our critical infrastructure, whilst considering the current difficult times being experienced due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our continued key budget priority is to ensure sustainability whilst improving livability for our region," Cr Beveridge said.
"The financial impacts to the region from the pandemic are yet to be fully quantified, however council needs to ensure that there are sufficient economic resources post-pandemic to grow the region.
"Just like households and private businesses, council is not immune to increases in its expenses."
The budget includes $16.3 million for capital works.
Cr Beveridge said council had leveraged government funding opportunities to fullfil or subsidise projects and had secured $9.4 million in grant funding.
"It means we can help improve the livability of the region through the development of new recreational facilities and road improvements, including disaster readiness projects, whilst at the same time delivering on the fundamentals our community expects," he said.
Major projects include:
- Completion of Council's 2019-2021 Works for Queensland Projects
- Finalisation of the implementation of council software and other IT purchases ($2.269m)
- Commencement of installation of additional flood warning infrastructure network (year one of two year program of works - $0.35m)
- Completion of the flood damage restoration works ($37.5m)
- Roads and drainage capital works program ($5.9m) - including a new roundabout on Racecourse Road, Fanning River crossing realignment on Dotswood Road and various pathway upgrades in the CBD.
- Completion of the water infrastructure upgrade project and the design of a new booster pump station and balance tank ($1.955m)
- Refurbishment and upgrade works to various council and community facilities ($0.576m)
- Development of a new water park ($2.852m)
- Installation of a new pump track ($0.4m)
- Installation of new walking paths at Towers Hill including a mine shaft viewing platform ($1.306m)
- Fleet replacements ($1.564m)