Council voted this month to exhibit these important documents with submissions closing on 29 May.
As boring as they may seem, it is worth having a quick read of the Budget for the next Financial Year as it determines what will or won’t be done by Council in our area.
First up, this Budget relies on a rate increase of 2.4%. The Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal pegged the rate rise at 0.7%. They based these changes on costs between 2019/20 and 2020/21, in a low inflation environment. But we now know what happened with inflation! So the Council has applied for ‘Additional Special Variation (ASV)’ to IPART for a 2.4% rate increase to maintain the expenditure program. This will provide $3 million in additional revenue above the current rate peg of 0.7%, for roads, stormwater and other community infrastructure. Of this $0.25m in working capital is intended to be held so Council can respond to any future shocks. More storms or fires, anyone?
Manly Ward Highlights:
But there will be no increase in the spending or allocation of funds for maintenance for existing infrastructure. Marine Parade, which is listed in the Asset Management Plan as an Unfunded $5mil Project, will remain a patchwork of surfaces, deteriorating landscaping and fencing from Manly to Shelly.
Our parks and gardens will continue to get their cursory grass cut, but nothing for improving or upkeeping the amenity and landscaping of these areas.
The Manly Look and Feel will disappear as the cream post and rail fencing deteriorates to a point where it can’t be repainted and repaired anymore. No funds for the replacement of our heritage lights along East and West Esplanade.
Despite the funding issues, in the future, replacement of these public place items will have to meet the adopted and harmonised Northern Beaches Public Space Vision and Design Guidelines. Specifically the Beach, Waterfront or Urban palettes all of which includes a lot of marine grade stainless steel.