HOUSEHOLD rates will go up by about $69 next financial year, but Orange City Council's draft budget has asserted residents will see their money returned to them in services.
The council's draft operational is expected to go to public exhibition after a meeting on Tuesday night, giving ratepayers 28 days to comment.
The council aims to spend $73.8 million on projects, subject to state and federal grant funding, including $15.5 million on CBD upgrades, $15.1 million on the southern feeder road, $5.1 million on the William Maker Drive roundabout and Hill Street realignment, $4 million extending Orange Regional Gallery, $2 million on redeveloping Wade Park plus $1.8 million on the cricket centre of excellence, with a further $1.3 million on the scout camp.
Despite an election promise from member for Calare Andrew Gee to fund the new conservatorium and planetarium, the project is still awaiting state funding and has been listed for construction in the 2020-21 financial year.
Loans have been proposed where major projects secure partial grant funding.
"While it would be ideal to procure all co-funded projects, it may not happen and while seeking such funding council revenue is reserved for the projects that may or may not occur," the report said.
With many of the projects listed in the budget papers for some time already, mayor Reg Kidd said forward planning was important.
I want to see the southern distributor finished and I would really like to get a start on the conservatorium and the sporting complex.Mayor Reg Kidd
"You never know when you're going to get a windfall from the state or federal governments so you've always got to be in forward planning," he said.
"I want to see the southern distributor finished and I would really like to get a start on the conservatorium and the sporting complex."
Residential rates will rise 2.7 per cent in line with the peg set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, or about $40 a year, while water, sewer and waste charges will rise 1.8 per cent in line with CPI, bringing the average rise per household to $69.62.
The council expects a $2.3 million surplus, down from $2.8 million last year.
However, figures from 2017 revealed the council spent above the state average per capita on environment, community, recreational, cultural, library and public order services and less on administration.
Compared with Bathurst, Albury, Tamworth and Wagga Wagga, it spent the most on environmental projects, community services, public order, safety and health.
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