Dardanup rate freeze, debt relief

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Nicolette BarbasSouth Western Times
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Dardanup shire president Mick Bennett. PICTURE: AARON CORLETT
Camera IconDardanup shire president Mick Bennett. PICTURE: AARON CORLETT Credit: Aaron Corlett,

Dardanup Shire Council has adopted its four-year 2020-21 corporate business plan and budget with a zero per cent rates increase.

In addition to the rates freeze, which was in response to economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic, the council has not increased its fees and charges.

As part of a series of measures put in place to support small businesses and community members, health inspection fees have also been waived.

Shire president Mick Bennett described the budget as responsible and constrained.

“The staff have done extremely well,” Cr Bennett said.

“I am really pleased that we were able to still maintain our level of service and all of the things that we wanted to do.

“We had promised the zero per cent rate increase, so getting that through without any massive changes to the direction we were heading is really good.”

A total of 16 key projects were outlined in the adopted budget including $7.7 million towards rural and urban road and bridge projects, $3 million towards the Eaton Bowling Club redevelopment and $1.36 million towards dual-use pathways.

Smaller projects include the Eaton entry statement and landscaping, Burekup oval playground shade, and Gnomesville toilet and pathways.

The council also adopted a new COVID-19 Financial Hardship Policy for Rates and Sundry Debtors.

The policy is designed to assist community members directly impacted by the pandemic by offering some measures of relief around the payment of rates and sundry debtor accounts.

Cr Bennett said it was important the council continued to look after their ratepayers.

“Our commitment over COVID-19 was to try and keep things as they were 12 months ago and hopefully as a community this will help us get through the next 12 months,” he said.

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