HORSHAM Rural City Council will hold its April meeting on April 23.
The jam-packed agenda includes discussions of the council's 2019-20 draft Budget, its Rating Strategy and Policy, and an assessment on Horsham's performing arts future.
The council is holding its meeting on a Tuesday instead of the usual Monday this month due to the Easter Monday holiday.
Draft 2019-20 Budget
THE council is set to discuss its draft 2019-20 Budget, which will be released to the community for consultation before its adopted.
The council is expected to set its rates cap increase at 2.25 per cent, which is 0.25 per cent below the 2.5 per cent state government imposed rate cap.
Rates were a contentious issue last year when the council's rates rose to the capped increase of 2.25 per cent in 2018-19. However, a breakdown of the rates meant residential rates decreased by 0.6 per cent, while farm rates increased by 11.8 per cent.
The council's $50 million-plus 2019-20 Budget will include rate expenditure on renewal works worth $2.64 million.
Rating Strategy and Policy
AT its March meeting, the council passed a motion to adopt its rating policy and strategy with amendments.
The amendments were:
- To acknowledge the impact of a broken rating system on farming properties
- Reduce the municipal charge from $287 to $280 rather than $200 as put out in the initial draft documents
- Change the valuation variance trigger point for review of differentials from 5 per cent to 3.5 per cent
The amended rating policy and strategy for 2019-23 was released to the community for consultation. The council received 11 submissions. The council is set to adopt these changes at its April meeting.
As part of the its rating strategy and policy, the council decided to lower the farm rate differential from 80 per cent to 67 per cent of the general rate to help ease the rate burden carried by the farming sector.
Horsham performing arts future assessment
THE council will also discuss the findings of the Horsham Performing Arts Future Services Demand Assessment.
This will include the future ownership and management of the Wesley Performing Arts and Culture Centre. The venue has been closed since November 2017 following fire safety concerns.
In his report to the council, community wellbeing director Kevin O'Brien said the council received more than 280 responses to its assessment survey.
"The primary outcome of this assessment has identified that there is a role for Wesley PACC in that it fills a gap in the existing provision of cultural facilities by providing a small intimate space that is very highly regarded by the community," Mr O'Brien said.
Motions to be discussed at the meeting will include:
- Community grants and donations for 2019-20
- Pick My Project update for pedal boats on the Wimmera River
- The Horsham Rural City Council reconciliation Action Plan
- Horsham Urban Transport Plan
- Female changerooms at Dudley Cornell Park
See council's April 2019 meeting agenda below
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