Draft budget boosted by community comments and grant funding

By June 26, 2019 News

A playground upgrade for the Wentworth housing estate, a multi-million dollar roundabout, a cricket centre of excellence, a Scout Camp upgrade and $165,000 worth of support for community organisations and events are some of the highlights from the 2019/20 budget, which was adopted at last night’s Council meeting.

Orange City Council adopted the budget after considering 61 submissions and 92 survey results via Council’s YourSay Orange website as well as four written submissions.

Orange Mayor Reg Kidd said one of the highlights to come out of the community consultation was the allocation of $30,000 for a playground upgrade in the Wentworth estate in West Orange.

“We had dozens of people make comments on our online platform with detailed reasons why the area would benefit from additional playground equipment,” Cr Kidd said.

“I’m really pleased we were able to deliver on that request.

“It won’t always be the case and not everyone can have what they’d like but in this particular example I think we’ve been able to strike a good balance.
“This result shows why it is important to put your hand up and have your say. You just might be able to make a difference.”

Finance Policy Committee Chair Cr Joanne McRae said many of the big ticket items included in the budget were partly dependent on grant funding, but it was vital Council set that money aside should grant applications be successful.

“Since Council put the budget on exhibition, we’ve been successful in a couple of those grant applications which is fantastic,” Cr McRae said.

“We were allocated $2.35 million towards the Northern Distributor Road and William Maker Drive roundabout by the state government and $1.55 million towards security and passenger upgrades at the airport.

“And we’ll be lobbying hard for grant funding for a major CBD upgrade throughout the year.”

Council is again undertaking an ambitious program and has secured funding or seeking external funding to enable it to deliver projects for the Orange community.

Key projects include:
$15.5 million towards a CBD upgrade (plus $15 million in year 2);
$15.1 million for the Southern Feeder Road Stage 2 ($10.6M secured);
$3.7 million for the Gallery extension ($4M secured);
$5.1 million for the NDR/William Maker Drive roundabout ($2.35M secured);
$2.8 million for further Forest Road upgrades;
$1.5M for Animal Shelter;
$1.8 million for the Cricket Centre of excellence ($1M secured);
$2 million for Wade Park developments;
$1.3 million for the Canobolas scout camp ($1.55M secured); and
$165,000 for the support of community organisations and events as part of the donations and sponsorship budgets.

Overall, residential rates will increase by an average of $1.34 a week, or $69.62 per year, including water and sewer.

Business rates will increase by an average of $253.71 per year or $4.88 per week.

Orange City Council

Orange City Council

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