WITH Orange City Council’s investment portfolio passing the $150 million mark last month, a ratepayer wants to see some of the funds withdrawn and spent.
The council’s investments are split into general, water, sewer and auspiced, which is money the council holds for community organisations.
Many of the funds are restricted by the state government in the way they can be spent.
However, resident John Da Rin said the funds’ size had been steadily increasing since 2016 and should instead be spent on roads, footpaths, parking or the CBD redevelopment.
“They want to go for [government] grants, but there’s a time delay – those funds are required now,” he said.
“They can’t afford to keep gambling.”
Mr Da Rin felt a $50 million investment pie was more appropriate.
But council spokesman Nick Redmond said the vast majority of the funds were restricted, whether it be for water and sewer infrastructure, developer contributions for community infrastructure or special-purpose grants.
“State governments require that councils plan for the long term and have funds to make sure the [water and sewer] pipe network and treatments system needed to keep residents safe and healthy are maintained in good shape,” he said.
Mr Redmond said 12 per cent was internally restricted, meaning the council had saved funds for future expenses including leave entitlements and asset renewal.
“This leaves around 9 per cent as the operating capital of the council,” he said.
He said community suggestions on budgets were welcome each year, but the debate was not helped by confusion about tied investment funds.
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