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An average 5.8 per cent rate rise for the 2024-25 draft budget is proposed by the Naracoorte Lucindale Council’s administration.

The $22,234 million draft includes a $1.087 million operating surplus.

Now electors can read the plan and have their say before May 27, advising what they think the rates should be and what expenditure needs to be included, or excluded.

Under the draft budget the council hopes to collect more than $12.234 million from rates and a further $2.290 million from service charges and levies.

Income from various government grants is expected to tally $4.307 million.

Those amounts along with income from a stream of other charges and investments all add up to $22,073 million for council coffers.

Council’s expenses include $6.513 million for 64.5 full time equivalent (FTE) staff.

A further $7.796 million is allocated for materials, contracts and items listed as “other expenses”.

Depreciation, amortisation, and impairment costs are budgeted at $6.485 million.

Along with finance costs of $211,000, council’s proposed expenses total $20.985 million.

Debating the draft budget at the council’s May 1 meeting, mayor Patrick Ross praised staff for their hard work – particularly finance and corporate manager Alex Edmonds, finance officer Caroline Corbin, as well as the senior management team.

Mr Ross described the 53 page draft as “the start of the road”.

He said it was now up to elected members “to go out to their community and have a mature discussion about how they see this budget proposal, and how their community also receive the budget as … presented to them for public consultation”.

Footpaths, drainage, and roads around Naracoorte and parts of the district have been allocated a proposed $7.397 million budget, taking up almost a page full of listed works.

Included are items such a $607,487 upgrade to Jones St, $735,000 for Premier Drive and $396,000 for Clarkson’s Road – Riddoch Highway to Cedar Avenue, $1.296 million for Miles Road, and $1.358 million for Diagonal Road – Nelson’s Road.

Also included in the draft budget is $2.338 million for South Australia’s largest saleyard facility, the self-funded Naracoorte Regional Livestock Exchange, paid for by the district’s livestock producers.

The proposed operating budget for engagement and community listed on page 36 and 37 of the document totals $1.567 million, including $284,865 for administration.

A $115,904 allocation is for “events” and $276,709 for the Visitor Information Centre.

Also included in the engagement and community budget is $236,909 for the Naracoorte Town Hall, and $58,384 for the Lucindale Hall with an $85,000 allocation on page 7 for a new roof in a different section of the document.

Other highlights within the draft include $250,000 for Naracoorte Creek Weirs, $113,000 to re-seal the swimming lake floor and walls, a $40,000 feasibility study for an indoor pool at the swimming lake, and $30,000 for fencing at the North Parklands.

The draft business plan and budget are available from the Naracoorte Lucindale Council office as well as the council’s website.

People have until 5pm, May 27 to comment on the draft by advising their local councillors, or commenting via a letter, email, or the council’s website.

The Naracoorte News 8 May 2024

This article appeared in the Naracoorte Community News.

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