Forecast deficit but a bright future ahead
Council's budget for the 2020-21 financial year was approved on 19 June 2020. Click Here to read the media release
Prior to COVID-19, Council was aiming to deliver a modest budget surplus, in-line with its long term financial management plan. However, as the crisis began to unfold from early March, the focus of the budget changed, with the need to minimise the impacts of the economic downturn and focus on helping our community get through and recover from the crisis.
The result is that, due to the economic impacts of COVID-19, the we are now forecasting a budget deficit of $9.6 million for the next financial year.
The pillars of next year's budget are:
- providing community assistance measures to help those in our community who are doing it tough, and
- increasing our capital expenditure to help our economy recover and continue to improve infrastructure and facilities in our city
Community Assistance Measures
Our budget includes the COVID-19 Community Assistance Package that we passed at a special Council meeting on the 18 May 2020.
This includes the COVID-19 Rate Relief Rebate, which will mean that Rates bills for this year will stay exactly the same as they were the previous year.
Council will also be continuing the financial hardship assistance measures that were introduced in the interim community assistance package announced in March, as well as offering ratepayers the ability to defer rates payments over a longer period or have some Council fees and charges reduced or waived if for those suffering from financial hardship caused by COVID-19.
Council has increased its capital works budget to $21.1 million. This is a $7.1 million increase on last year. This includes:
- $4 million for a range of road projects, including road resurfacing, patching and reconstruction works to ensure that our roads are maintained in good condition.
- $500,000 to upgrade Bowden Street in Glenorchy from Fairfax Road through to Windsor Street.
- Continuing to progress the $5.8 million Glenorhcy CBD Revitalisation, with $1 million budgeted for upgrading the section of Main Road, Glenorchy from Regina Street to Barry Street.
- $2 million for improving existing footpaths including, $500,000 on fixing trip hazards throughout the municipality.This includes $250,000 to upgrade the footpath linking the intercity cycleway through to MONA via Berriedale Road and Main Road to a 2.5 metre shared path.
- $1.4 million on our stormwater system reducing the risk of flooding, extending the network and replacing pipes and pits that are in poor condition.
- $350,000 planned for the upgrade of the Giblins Reserve toilet as part of the new play space that will be built there.
- Funding is also allocated to ongoing improvements and design work on upgrade the Moonah CBD toilet.
- $475,000 allocated to works on our tracks and trails in our reserves, including $350,000 to upgrade the paths in Lutana Woodlands to improve access, and funding towards improvements to the fire and mountain bike trail network in Wellington Park.
- $1 million to build a new cell at the Jackson Street landfill to extend its lifespan for more than 10 years.
- $4.7 million for works on the Australian and State Government Grant projects, including $1 million on a new building at the Eady Street Cricket Ground,
- $1 million on the Giblins Reserve Playspace,
- $2 million on improving Soccer facilities at KGV.
Economic Stimulus Measures
The budget also includes funding for a range of economic stimulus projects the make sure we can recover from COVID-19 while continuing to deliver and improve the services that we provide to our community. These include:
- encourage and facilitate major developments and investment in our city, like the Berriedale Peninsula and the DEC and Wilkinsons Point,
- delivering exciting new projects like our new Playspaces at Montrose Bay and Giblins Reserve and improvements to our paths, tracks and trails network.
- investing in our small business community through initiatives like Activity City an online hub which showcases local businesses making, selling, serving and doing wonderful things in our community.
- Continuing to promote arts and culture in our City by developing our Arts and Culture Strategy, to help us progress our community goal to become a hub for arts and culture in Tasmania
- Building an extra cell at our Jackson Street landfill to extend its life and ensure this important facility remains open for the foreseeable future
Increasing the amount of waste that is diverted from landfill through initiatives like our new FOGO service and waste education programs
Completing the new Master Plan for Tolosa Park and begin construction of new Sport and Recreation facilities funded by the Australian Government, including the Junior Soccer Hub at North Chigwell Oval and improved soccer facilities at KGV.
Strategically investing in our parks, reserves and sporting facilities, through programs like Pimp My Park and Greening Glenorchy.