Flood and recreation focus of new budget

Alpine Shire Council’s draft budget has been released for public comment, underpinned with a 6% rate rise.

The increase is needed to address rising costs and deliver a range of capital works to meet community needs.

Alpine’s CEO Ian Nicholls said “Council services have been severely stretched due to a string of natural disasters and our focus will be to improve some of our drainage infrastructure to cope better with flash flooding events, and to respond to some urgent recreational needs.”

The main feature of the draft budget is a $5.7 million Capital Works program including several significant projects across the Alpine Shire.

Key highlights of the Capital Works program budget include:
• Bright Sports Centre redevelopment ($800,000)
• Restoration of several flood damaged river walks ($280,000)
• Bridge upgrades ($259,000)
• Support for new netball facilities at Dederang and Bright ($325,000)
• Support for expanded soccer facilities at Myrtleford, Bright and Mount Beauty ($168,000)
• Drainage works to assist flood affected properties ($167,000)

Mr Nicholls added “The rate rise is one of the lowest in the North East, and although rate rises are never popular, they are needed to ensure Council doesn’t slip backwards in service provision to ratepayers and residents.”

“The distinction between keeping rates affordable and not compromising service levels is a difficult balancing act for Council,” he said.

The budget will be available for public comment until Wednesday 22 June 2011. Copies can be viewed at the Bright Council offices, Myrtleford and Mount Beauty Customer Service Centres, or on Council’s website under the “On Exhibition” page.

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