18 December 2019
Bega Valley Shire Council is seeking feedback from the community on several key strategic planning documents that are now on exhibition.
With Council having notified the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal (IPART) of its intention to apply for a Special Rate Variation (SRV), it is a requirement that Council’s Integrated Planning and Reporting documents and any updated associated plans be exhibited and adopted prior to a formal application being submitted.
The documents include the draft Revised Delivery Program 2017-2021 and draft Operational Plan 2020-2021, including Council’s Budget and Revenue Policy; the draft Fees and Charges 2020-2021; and the Swimming Pools Asset Management Plan. An amended Financial Strategy and Long-Term Financial Plan (LTFP), as elements of Council’s Resourcing Strategy, are also now on exhibition.
Council’s Acting General Manager, Anthony McMahon, said the modelling and proposal to introduce an SRV to fund the operations, maintenance, renewals and upgrades of the Shire’s six public swimming pools was a key element of the combined community consultation period.
“With Council committed to pursuing the goal of continuing with the six pools in to the future, it is imperative that there is a dedicated funding source and through introducing the proposed SRV over three years and retaining it on an ongoing basis, we will be able to secure their respective futures,” Mr McMahon said.
“We have investigated a range of approaches over many years on how best to manage our pools – from closing pools to public-private partnerships, increasing borrowings, applying for grants (which we will still actively pursue) and reducing service levels in other areas to fund the pools. None of these options have so far delivered a sustainable way forward.
“While we understand that rate rises of any kind are never welcome, it is clear that without the introduction of the proposed SRV, the six-pool goal cannot be met.”
The draft strategies can be viewed online and hard copies are available at the libraries at Bermagui, Bega, Tura Beach and Eden and the Council Offices in Zingel Place, Bega.
Council is amending its online Rate Estimate Calculator so residents will be able to work out how much extra they will pay based on their land value. The updated calculator will be available online shortly.
A flyer, providing more detail on the SRV proposal and modeling, will be sent to ratepayers in early January.
Have Your Say sessions will also be held:
Submissions regarding the draft documents can be made until Friday, 24 January 2020, via Council’s Have Your Say page (see link above), via email at firstname.lastname@example.org, or by post to PO Box 492, Bega NSW 2550.
For more information, contact Council on (02) 6499 2222.