THE Derwent Valley Council met last week to pass its budget for the next year, which included an increase in rates.
In what was coined a “tough, but considered budget”, the changes were predominantly based around growing rates and levies to increase funding for council operations over the next 12 months.
The increased rates include a 3 per cent increase on general rates, 3 per cent increase on the Business Promotions levy, a 6 per cent increase on the waste management charge and an increase from $55 to $90 for the waste levy.
Last year’s 20/21 budget saw a 3.95 per cent rates rise which was rebated back to the community as part of Council’s Community Support Package.
Compared to the 2020 rates figures, this year’s increase will equate to around $128 per year or $2.46 per week on the average household.
Council said the additional income will allow $7.8 million in capital and improvement works to the region, as well as completing several high impact strategic projects.
These projects include implementation of the first stage of the High Street redevelopment, improvements to Giddy Avenue and Saddle Road, upgrades to Tynwald Park sports facilities including new clubrooms and changerooms, finishing improvements to the New Norfolk Esplanade including a purpose-built stage, completing the Peppermint Hill Landfill study, improvements to the Derwent River access points, revitalised town entrances across the Derwent Valley, Humphrey Street Dog Park improvements, new bus shelter in Maydena and maintenance of Magra CWA premises and other council-owned buildings.
“Our budget reflects the challenges and opportunities facing the Derwent Valley community; balancing the actions of the Our Valley 2030 Strategic Plan, the current financial position and the community’s ability to pay,” said Mayor Ben Shaw.
“It has been a tough year to recover from financial impacts of COVID of around $1.1 million in the last financial year.”
“All operational budgets have been aligned with current issues and strategic priorities whilst also focusing on delivering efficiencies and appropriate allocation of resources “Considering our principles of long-term financial management, council has included increases to its fees and charges, to ensure cost recovery and better application of the ‘user pays’ principle.”