Each year Council consults with the community through the draft Delivery Program and Operational Plan (DPOP) which documents Council’s planned activities and budgets.
Mayor Wayne Bedggood said infrastructure, particularly roads, bridges, footpaths, water supply and sewerage were the ‘big ticket’ items however the DPOP outlines all of Council's proposed activities and funding across all areas of its work.
“Residents should particularly examine the proposed capital works, and fees and charges for Council services and make their views known, before the DPOP is finalised,” Cr Bedggood said.
The DPOP 2016/17 to 2019/20 will establish the future directions for Council’s activities and provide information about Council’s works and services, how they are funded and details of Council’s financial position.
Upper Hunter Shire residents are encouraged to attend one of the four public meetings about the draft DPOP 2016/17 to 2019/20 to be held across the Upper Hunter Shire in May. Council will also post a flyer about the DPOP including examples of proposed local projects, to all households and businesses in the Upper Hunter Shire.
A draft version of the DPOP is on public exhibition from Wednesday 27 April 2016 at Council offices, libraries and on Council’s website. Council is seeking written submissions responding to the draft DPOP by Monday 30 May 2016.
Comments can be submitted at Council offices, emailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or posted to PO Box 208 Scone NSW 2337.
You can read the draft DPOP under Do it Online / Say It.
Everyone is encouraged to attend the public meetings where a summary of the DPOP will be presented and there will be an opportunity to ask questions and give feedback.
DPOP public meetings:
SCONE - 6.00pm
- Tuesday 3 May
Council Chambers, 135 Liverpool Street, Scone
MURRURUNDI - 6.00pm
- Wednesday 4 May
CWA Rooms, 109 Mayne Street, Murrurundi
MERRIWA - 6.00pm
– Monday 9 May
Merriwa School of Arts Community Hall
ABERDEEN - 6.00pm
- Wednesday 11 May
Rose Garden Community Hall, Aberdeen
Council will adopt the final DPOP 2016/17 – 2019/20 at its ordinary meeting on 27 June 2016.
Summary of Council’s plans for the 2016/17 financial year
Upper Hunter Shire Council has a balanced budget in 2016/17with revenue at $72.3 million and the same amount in expenditure.
The majority of revenue (30%) comes from grants and contributions, followed by fees, charges and other (29%), General Rates (14%), as well as water charges (7%), sewerage charges (4%), other non-operating incomes (15%) and depreciation (11%).
Focus on Infrastructure
Mayor Wayne Bedggood said one of the highlights of the draft DPOP was the $2.85 million in road funding under the Federal Government’s Roads to Recovery Program and the replacement of the Middlebrook Bridge and approaches which has attracted $1.16 million in grant funding from the Federal Government’s Bridges Renewal Program.
Emphasis on Council’s infrastructure program continues in the 2016/17 year with proposed budgeted capital expenditure of $27m towards roads, bridges, footpaths, water supply, sewerage and other items right across the Shire.
Roads, bridges and the airport make up one third (33%) of expenditure, water is our next biggest cost (14%), followed by engineering and works (11%), recreation and culture (9%), the business unit including tourism (7%), environment (7%), community services (5%), and administration and governance (3%). Health and other, public order and safety, and community amenities each account for 2% of expenditure.
Water, Sewer and Waste Charges
Charges to residents to water will continue to change to adhere to the NSW Office of Water’s best practice policy for Water Access and Usage Charges. Water access charges on rates notices will continue to reduce and water usage charges will be based on residents’ usage.
Sewer Charges are proposed to increase by 5% for 2016/17. Council Sewerage Systems will need extensive capital works over the next twenty years which has been highlighted in Council’s Sewerage Asset Management Plans.
Increases to Waste Management charges have continued in 2016/17 in correlation with the Waste Levy imposed on Council by the NSW State Government. This will be the final increase to the levy which will revert to CPI increases for future years.
The draft DPOP outlines all proposed user fees and charges that apply, from the airport to libraries and childcare. See Draft Fees and Charges.
Council provides public services of libraries, pools, fire protection, youth services, parks, gardens, sporting grounds and venues. There is a partial recovery of the costs of these services through grants, fees to use the service or other revenue generating activities. The combined difference between the revenue for these services and the expenditure is around $3 million. See page 39.
While roads, bridges, footpaths, water supply, sewerage and waste infrastructure are a focus, there are many other projects across the Shire.
Some examples of other planned infrastructure projects for 2016/17 are a $75,000 shed for Bow Rural Fire Service and a $60,000 upgrade at Murrurundi pool. These are small projects within the whole budget but big projects for the local communities.
The draft DPOP also budgets $176,000 towards the Town Centre Revitalisation Masterplans in 2016/17.
Upper Hunter Shire Council
Phone: 02 6540 1100
Upper Hunter Shire Council is a local government authority and provides an extensive array of services including health and building; town planning; aged care; sporting and recreational facilities; roads; libraries; garbage collection; airport facilities; saleyards; public venues; water; children, youth and families and tourist information.