Ararat Rural City residents receive 1% rate cut with budget adoption

Posted Thursday 18 June, 09:18am

Ararat Rural City residents will receive a 1% rate cut after Council adopted its 2020/2021 Budget last night.

Under the budget, $13.6 million will be invested in capital works including road upgrades, new amenities and community infrastructure, and $200,000 for local businesses through the COVID-19 Recovery Program.

Ararat Rural City Council CEO Dr Tim Harrison said the budget also includes a budgeted operating surplus of $4.661 million, a measure of financial sustainability and an improvement from the forecast surplus of $1.631 million for 2019/2020.

“Council is very aware of the financial difficulties many residents are facing – and the huge impacts on the local economy – the COVID-19 event has caused, which is why the 2020/2021 Budget includes a rate cut of 1%, Dr Harrison said.

“The cut to general rates will help keep rates as close as possible to last year and Council hopes this goes some way to ease some of the stresses our residents are facing at this difficult time.”

Dr Harrison said the budget impact of the decision to cut rates is $445,000, which will be recouped through organisational efficiencies and will not affect Council services.

He said the budget aimed to fund ongoing service delivery and the renewal of infrastructure and community assets while not unduly increasing the rate burden in any sector.

“This year’s budget aims to fund key elements of Year 4 of the Council Plan 2017-2021, which was also adopted at Wednesday’s meeting,” he said.

The Ararat Rural City Council 2020/2021 Budget outlines key community infrastructure projects including the completion of Ararat on the Move projects at a cost of $650,000. This includes the new netball courts and female-friendly amenities at Ararat’s Alexandra Oval precinct and upgrades to the Ararat Skate Park.

Other projects in the Draft Budget include upgrades to rural roads such as Darlington-Carranballac Road ($558,000), Woorndoo-Streatham Road ($1.967 million), and Tatyoon Road ($3.11 million). Council will also invest $898,614 in arts, culture and heritage, $250,000 in drainage renewal, and $325,000 in bridges.

Other projects outlined in the budget include:

  • Laby Street drainage and upgrades – $60,000
  • Baird Street road and drainage upgrades – $160,000
  • Truscott Street upgrades – $376,000
  • Heath Street upgrades – $800,000
  • Willaura-Wickliffe Road upgrades – $1.375m
  • Road resheeting work – $1m
  • Road resealing work – $1.405m
  • Foot and bike paths – $160,000
  • Plant and equipment – $965,000
  • Property and buildings – $910,000

Residents can download a copy of the Budget by visiting www.ararat.vic.gov.au. A hard copy of the document can be obtained by phoning the Council office on (03) 5355 0200.