Our Council really is proud of the 2019/20 draft budget that was released last week for your review and input.
A lot of discussion and hard work went in to get the average rate increase to a low 1.02 per cent, while still ensuring we can deliver high quality services to our community.
These services include $7.1 million on roads – including major upgrade projects and ongoing maintenance – $401,000 for projects from 11 community plans across the municipality, and continued commitment to services like aged care, youth, arts and culture, and public health.
I’m pleased to say that the draft budget also has a big focus on Our Game Plan – the masterplan that will see recreation reserves across the municipality upgraded. These facilities are a central part of life for many local residents and I look forward to seeing the improvements that Council can help to make.
Individual ratepayers will also be pleased to know that rubbish collection fees will be the same as this year, and the green waste service fee will reduce by $5.
Dryland farmers will receive a 20 per cent discount on their rates – our attempt to offset high increases in property values despite ongoing low rainfall.
See the draft budget at Council’s website and please provide us with your written comments if you have concerns, ideas or like something we have proposed. Comments are open until 31 May.
Community grants open now
Applications for Council’s community grants programs opened this week. The grants offer up to $5000 for building work, planning, equipment and new activities, and for major events.
Last year, we provided $70,000 to support 37 local events, and $100,000 towards 25 community projects. Visit Council’s website to find out more, or call 5032 3033. Applications are open until 17 June.
Visit the saleyards
I recently visited the Swan Hill Regional Livestock Exchange to see the upgraded cattle yards and selling ring.
Seeing a sheep or cattle sale is quite a unique experience, and I want to encourage local people to head along and see it for themselves. Maybe you have city friends visiting, or people from overseas? What a unique way to show them country life.
The sales run each Thursday. You can find out exact sale dates and times at www.swanhill.vic.gov.au/business/livestock.