COVID-19 Impacts Expected on Budgets (23 May 2020)

3 years ago | by

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Every year around this time we ask residents to provide feedback on Coffs Harbour City Council’s draft budgets for the coming year – specifically the Draft 2017-2022 Delivery Program (Year 4).

The document, which includes the Draft 2020/21 Operational Plan, Draft 2020/21 Fees and Charges, and Draft Delivery Program Budgets 2020/21, is now on public exhibition until Monday, June 15, 2020.

Now is the time to make a submission on any improvements – be they roadworks, playground upgrades, new sports facilities or completely new projects – that you would like Council to consider including in its spending in the coming years.

There has been a major change to the usual budget process because of COVID-19 and the postponement for one year of the Local Government Elections and that is that Council’s existing 2017-2021 Delivery Program will apply for a further 12 months and change to a 2017-2022 Delivery Program.

There is no doubt that COVID-19 has already had an impact on the budget result through the measures taken to support the community – and we will be continuing to make financial adjustments and policy position changes to help locals through this crisis and the economic consequences it has brought.

Because of COVID-19, we are looking at a consolidated budget result for 2020/21, excluding capital revenue, that is a $4.955 million deficit.

But Council is continuing to focus on asset renewal while also looking to assist the local economy through the jobs stimulus created construction of new infrastructure where funding opportunities become available.

In 2020-21, significant budget allocations are proposed for works across a range of asset categories. These include, but are not limited to:

  • Ongoing commitment to the delivery of the Cultural and Civic Space project;
  • New animal pound;
  • Coffs Coast Regional Sports Hub;
  • Initial works West Woolgoolga Sports Complex;
  • Extensive Water and Sewer infrastructure upgrades;
  • Bridgeworks and flood mitigation works.

We have also ensured that the ‘average’ residential property will only see a total increase in rates and charges of the 2.6% rate peg increase set out by the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal for the 2020/2021 financial year. For an ‘average’ residential property-owner – based on a land valuation of $244,600 in 2020/21 – this will equate to approximately $97.96 per annum, or $1.88 per week. Council does understand that people do suffer from financial hardship at times and we have a Financial Hardship Policy related to rates to help.

The draft documents – and details of how to make a submission – are available on Council’s Have Your Say website – Submissions close at 5pm on Monday, June 15, 2020.

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