Willoughby City Council has presented a well-balanced budget despite the $14 million impact of COVID-19 on revenue.
Council unanimously adopted the Operational Plan and Budget 2021-22 at last night’s Council Meeting.
Mayor Gail Giles-Gidney said she was proud of the outcome, given the difficult year endured.
“This wasn’t an easy task. The ongoing impact of the pandemic meant that the starting point for this year’s budget was $6.2 million in deficit,” she said.
In 2021-22, Council expects a significant reduction in revenue from a range of sources including paid parking, lease rentals, and historically low interest on investments.
“To reduce the deficit we have found $5.2 million savings in Council employee costs, operational expenses and other areas such as consultants and materials,” Mayor Giles-Gidney said.
“Of the remaining, $1 million will be raised by way of fee increases, where they are under market value.”
There will be a small increase of $15 per household annually for domestic waste management, 10% for on-street parking fees in some areas, and ten percent increase in child care fees – bringing them in line with current market rates.
“Applying these cost savings will result in a balanced budget while continuing to delivery services expected by our community,” the Mayor concluded.