Council budget continues with post-COVID recovery

Orange City Council’s draft budget for the coming fiscal year aims to build momentum to complete a number of key projects already underway and help Orange’s economy continue to recover from the impact of the COVID-19 crisis.

This week’s Council meeting (April 6) voted to have the proposed budget for the 2021/22 fiscal year exposed for community comment.

The budget proposal reveals spending proposals of $ 91.3 million for capital projects in the coming year, as part of a four-year capital spending forecast of $ 232.1 million dollars from 2021/2022 to 2024/2025. The budget proposes a consolidated operating deficit (before capital) of $ 666,834 for 2021/2022.

Projects must be funded by a mix of previously approved government grants, municipal reserves, property sales and loans.

The list of major capital projects will see work continuing on a number of major projects over the next 12 months, including:

  • Upgrading Future City CBD
  • The first steps on the new sports arena
  • A new wetland built to increase the output of the city’s stormwater collection system, and
  • A series of major road improvements

START: The project to start work on the Orange Regional Conservatory is included in the budget for the next fiscal year.

In accordance with a unanimous decision of the Council at the beginning of the year, the draft budget will also see the start of the Orange Regional Conservatory project during the next financial year. The budget proposes to allocate the necessary $ 20 million for the project over the next two years, including $ 10 million from an agreed grant from the federal government and $ 5 million from Council reserves and land sales. . The council has also requested a report on how to fund the remaining $ 5 million from council reserves if the NSW government does not provide a grant for the project.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd believes the community will welcome a determination to complete a number of major projects as well as launch new initiatives.

“The community realizes that big projects like the South Power, our CBD upgrade and a major new wetland will take several years to complete,” said Cr Reg Kidd. “Seeing the last installments of these costs appear in our annual budgets is a responsible way of managing these projects. “

“These are all key infrastructures that will add value to our local economy for years to come. This investment will increase the capacity of our local economy to generate jobs.

Residential and commercial tariffs will increase by 2%, the increase capped by the New South Wales government’s Independent Pricing & Regulatory Tribunal (IPART). Average residential rates will increase by $ 32.35 per year, or $ 1.12 per week, including water, waste and sewer charges). Average commercial rates will increase by $ 96.96 or $ 1.86 per week.

Orange City Council Finance Committee Chairman Cr Kevin Duffy welcomed the mix of minor projects and small-scale suggestions from individual council members.

“The budget also includes plans for a number of projects emerging from long-term strategic planning, but there are also suggestions from council members that aim to improve local neighborhoods and find solutions to local problems.” said Cr Kidd.

RAINWATER: Plans to rebuild more sections of the East Orange stormwater channel are part of the budget for the next fiscal year.

The list of projects planned for next year includes:

  • $ 7 million to improve the capacity of the wastewater treatment plant
  • $ 1.4 million to upgrade other sections of East Orange stormwater canals
  • Two major projects to strengthen the pipeline infrastructure between Orange and Canobolas Lake $ 1.3 million for a sewer upgrade and $ 1.02 million for a new water pipeline.
  • Spending on road rehabilitation will increase from $ 1.06 million this year to $ 1.46 million in 2021/2022

The list of councilor suggestions that were added during council budget discussions include:

  • $ 500,000 to replace trees that died during drought with advanced trees
  • $ 250,000 for the maintenance of the rotundas of Robertson Park and Cook Park
  • $ 15,000 for a new program to encourage residents to plant gardens on the edge of their residence
  • $ 100,000 to build a new fence around a sports field in Spring Hill
  • $ 50,000 to install lighting and video surveillance in Esso Park
  • $ 100,000 to install CCTV, new fences and gravestone repairs in Orange cemetery
  • $ 150,000 additional to bring spending on new trails and trail rehabilitation to $ 900,000

The draft budget will now be exposed to community comment for 28 days. It is expected that a report on community submissions will be presented to a council meeting on June 1 when the final budget is reviewed.

By visiting the The YourSay Orange site Orange residents can:

  • leave a comment on any aspect of the budget
  • complete a short survey
  • learn more about budget details

/ Public distribution. This material is from the original organization and may be ad hoc in nature, edited for clarity, style and length. View full here.

About Douglas Torres

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