Community projects to feature in Budget
Bunbury’s long-awaited water splash park, improvements to the Halifax Business Park and construction of a Hay Park Central pavilion are all set to feature in the city’s 2019-20 Budget.
Bunbury City Council will hold its annual special meeting tonight when it is expected to vote in the $83.6 million budget, which will be based on a 3 per cent rate increase for residents.
In his annual budget report, Mayor Gary Brennan describes the council’s approach to the city’s latest financials as “disciplined”.
“Bunbury City Council has maintained a disciplined approach to developing this year’s budget based on key considerations and many competing demands,” Mr Brennan said.
“The main one being what we believe the community can afford as a reasonable rate increase.
“The other considerations are to provide for inflation increases, to provide for modest growth and our need to reduce the city’s asset maintenance gap between what is required and what we can fund each year.”
The council has gradually been reducing the backlog of work to maintain the city’s assets after a 2016 audit revealed a multi-million-dollar gap.
The latest rate hike again includes one per cent to reduce the gap.
Gaining the most financial attention in the budget is community assets such as boat ramps, beach shelters and sporting ground upgrades with $16.6 million allocated.
That includes $2.3 million for the Hay Park pavilion, $500,000 to design the city’s new youth precinct and $1.35 million to upgrade Sykes Foreshore – the planned location of the water splash park.
It will come as the council officially signed off on its deal with Discovery Holiday Parks over the water playground on Friday.
After months of negotiations, the agreement will see the caravan park extend its long-term lease along with construction of the playground.
Also in the budget is $3 million for upgrades to Halifax Business Park infrastructure and $13.2 million for maintenance on streetscapes and pathways such as street signage, roads, carparks and footpaths.
Stirling Street Art Centre’s $2.7 million redevelopment – which includes a $500,000 loan – also features, along with $2 million for open space like replacing playground equipment, $1.3 million for tourism promotion and marketing and $154,000 for a cultural precinct design.
The predicted $14 a year increase to ratepayers’ recycling fees is also in the budget.
Get the latest news from thewest.com.au in your inbox.
Sign up for our emails