Monday, February 26, 2024

Coffs adopts delivery plan

Coffs Harbour City Council has adopted its Delivery Program and Operational Plan for the next four years following last month’s public exhibition of the draft.

Council says the top future focus areas are:

  • Making sure the community’s voice is heard in the development of the NSW Government’s Jetty Foreshore Precinct Masterplan and associated projects;
  • Preparing for a post-bypass world that will benefit and enhance our city centre, community and local business sector;
  • Supporting the drive for diverse housing opportunities;
  • Helping us all adapt to change – whether it relates to waste management, climate change or emergencies;
  • Providing alternative transport options for an active, safe and healthy community
  • Providing better waste landfill options for the community.

“In addition, we also have some major capital projects on the agenda for the next four years including Yarrila Place, our swimming pool upgrades, Stage One of the Brelsford Park upgrade, deliver improvements to Centenary Drive in Woolgoolga and the Wiigulga Sports Complex,” said Coffs Harbour Mayor, Paul Amos.  

The 2022/23 budget forecasts an estimated underlying surplus, before capital revenue, of $8.02 million. This includes $5.321 million estimated deficit for the General Fund, $6.121 million estimated surplus for the Water Fund and $7.220 million estimated surplus for the Sewer Fund. 

The Mayor said bringing the General Fund into a surplus position continues to be a priority.

Coffs Harbour City Council – along with 85 other NSW councils – was successful in its application to increase rates above the level of the rate peg of 0.7% initially proposed for 2022-2023 by the NSW Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART).

IPART subsequently admitted that the 0.7%figure had been determined at a time of low inflation at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic and had not taken into account the more recent high inflation and global uncertainties that have significantly increased councils’ costs statewide. As a result, it gave councils the option of applying for a higher rate peg increase.

The rate peg for the Coffs Harbour City Council local government area has now been set at 2.5% – the amount originally expected by NSW councils for 2022-2023.

This means that the average residential ratepayer will be paying a further $99.23 on all rates and charges for 2022-2023 – a rise of $1.91 per week.

Council is set to write off about $3.39 million in pensioner rates and charges in 2022-2023. Of this, about $650,000 is voluntarily waived by Council. The NSW Government reimburses around $1.505 million, leaving an overall cost to Council of around $1.237 milion.

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