RATEPAYERS have been urged to examine how much rates and fees will rise this year and tell Orange City Council how they want services prioritised.
Residential rates are set to rise by 2.7 per cent in line with the rate peg, adding $40 to the household budget.
The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal decides the maximum increase based on how it perceives rises in the cost of labour, materials and utilities affect council operations.
This year will be the first without inflated water and sewer increases, with rises returning to 1.8 per cent, in line with CPI, adding another $29 on average.
Councillor Kevin Duffy said in his 2017 bid for re-election he wanted to see rates, including residential, water and sewer, frozen for up to two years.
Fellow councillor Tony Mileto also wanted water and sewer rates frozen.
Asked whether he would lobby for the result, Cr Duffy said the numbers in the chamber would not support it.
Service delivery is at the current standards because that's what the community wanted - those services come at a cost.Mayor Reg Kidd
"In previous years, we voted for the increase and I can't control that because I have one vote," he said.
Cr Duffy said given the council was currently without a general manager, councillors would meet again to discuss the budget further during the public consultation period.
But he said he did not support the current CBD business rate level given the number of empty shopfronts.
"We're looking to create more supermarkets outside the CBD, the people in the CBD are paying a third more," he said.
"We need to reduce the business rates or start supporting them."
Mayor Reg Kidd, who wanted to see a review in 2017, particularly on access charges, said he wanted to see public feedback on the proposed rise.
"If the community comes back and says some of these services we don't need or expect, councillors should take that on board," he said.
"Service delivery is at the current standards because that's what the community wanted - those services come at a cost."
Cr Kidd said the thought ratepayers currently received value for money.
Councillor Joanne McRae said people often raised the entry fees for Orange Aquatic Centre and the price of hiring council facilities.
"We really encourage the community to look at those fees and charges and provide some guidance on what they do want prioritised and where perhaps we should put that emphasis if we are looking at reducing any of those," she said.
"Council does have to clean [facilities], maintain the power, ensure the plumbing facilities, where there are toilets, are up to scratch."
Submissions close on June 12.
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