The Shire of Northam has endorsed the 2017/18 Annual Budget with a range of strategic projects and operational improvements provided for.
The Council deliberated on the budget detail at its Special Council meeting on June 29 and approved the budget and rates for advertising.
The final endorsement occurred on July 31, 2017.
The Council approved a rate increase of approximately 3.5%.
A statement released by the Shire said the rate increase is in line with the Shire’s long term financial plan and will ensure the Shire is a sustainable local government organisation.
Northam Shire President, Cr Pollard, said the increase was in line with the longer term planning of Council.
“It is important when developing our annual budgets that we have an eye on the longer time financial sustainability of the Council,” said Mr Pollard.
“We are committed to ensuring that increases in rates are limited to what is necessary and also that we smooth out any potential spikes – we don’t want to see significant increases in any one year.
“While the cost pressures on local government is always challenging, we ensure that every element of the budget is reviewed each year.
“So while the community focus is always on what we are spending, it should be noted that each year we look for savings and opportunities for saving in our budget.”
The Council operating expenditure budget for the 2017/18 year is $19.9m, while a further $19.3m has been set aside for capital projects.
Major highlights in the 2017/18 budget include:
- $3.8 million on the redevelopment and relocation of the Northam Swimming Pool
- $859,411 to the Northam Youth Space
- $3.3 million to capital road improvements
- $4.6 million to the Aboriginal and Environmental Interpretive Centre
- $824,040 to the King Creek Drainage Project
- $692,065 to plant purchases
- $442,343 to the fixing of footpaths in the Shire
- The Northam Chamber of Commerce received an increase in funding from $60,000 to $127,000 per annum.
- $121,241 upgrades to the CCTV network