Tumby Bay Council keeps with long term plan

The Tumby Bay District Council is keeping to its goal of reducing rate increases in line with its Long Term Financial Plan.

The council discussed its draft annual business plan for 2017/18 in a special meeting on Tuesday and is expected to release it for public consultation following an audit meeting tomorrow.

The plan includes an average increase of 4 per cent for general rates including the fixed charge, the same as the 2016/17 plan.

The council has proposed a fixed charge on rateable properties of $636, up from $612 in 2016/17.

Tumby Bay mayor Sam Telfer said the council was sticking to its Long Term Financial Plan, which included reducing rate increases.

“This is the third or fourth year of the Long Term Financial Plan, which we are sticking to strongly,” he said.

“Council is running a lean budget to deliver services to the community.”

One change highlighted at the meeting was an increase in the waste collection and disposal service charge to $210, up from $195, on each occupied assessment within township areas where the service is provided.

Mr Telfer said one cost that had gone down was the hiring cost of the Tumby Bay Soldiers Memorial Hall as the council hoped it would encourage more use by the community.

At least 14 capital works projects have been planned for 2017/18; topping the list is the implementation of the Tumby Bay Stormwater Management Plan at $3.9 million but it will require grant funding to go ahead.

Another project requiring grant funding is the Port Neill foreshore project, with $200,000 budgeted subject to grant funding.

Mr Telfer said the council was confident it could put a good case forward for these projects.

“We’re encouraged that the federal government has put substantial money into the Building Better Regions Fund,” he said.

“We’re confident we will put in a strong and robust business case.”

Mr Telfer said another big project would be the sealing the Tumby Bay foreshore trail, which the council aimed to completed in 2017/18.

Other capital works include installing steel channel markers at the Tumby Bay Marina and replacing the roof on the Ritz Cafe building.

Supplementary road funding has not yet been factored into the budget but the council is expecting about $120,000 to go toward road projects, based on what had been received in recent years.

Mr Telfer encouraged people to have their say on the draft plan, which will be available for public comment until June 23, and to attend a public meeting on June 21.