Green light for latest budget
Monday June 25, 2018.
Orange City Council passed the budget for the 2018/19 financial year and the Community Strategic Plan (CSP) at last week’s meeting.
About 2,000 people went to Council’s Your Say website to learn about various elements of the budget and the draft Community Strategic Plan and of those many contributed comments and ideas.
After taking comments from residents into consideration, elements of the CSP were changed and feedback about the budget was included during last week’s budget deliberations.
Orange Deputy Mayor Joanne McRae said she was pleased more and more residents were becoming involved in developing large scale city plans.
“It’s great to see so many people wanting to have a say and be included in the decision making process,” Cr McRae said.
“Council listened to your feedback throughout the entire CSP planning process, called Where to Next? and then we listened again when we asked you what you thought of the draft plan.
“Several submissions were received during the exhibition period of the draft CSP and as a result we added several elements to the ten-year plan.”
Cr McRae said this year’s budget would operate with an operating surplus of $176,000.
“It’s a sound budget and will deliver a range of projects for the community as well as putting us in good stead to improve the services we already offer.”
Capital projects include:
- $15 million towards a CBD upgrade (plus an additional $15 million in Year Two)*
- $17.83 million for the Southern Feeder Road, (incl. new rail bridge)*
- $1.76 million for Cargo Road,
- $4.6 million for the NDR/William Maker Drive roundabout*
- $4 million for an Orange Regional Gallery extension (incl. extra gallery space, doubling storage capacity and theatrette area)
- $1.6 million for the next stage of the Forest Rd upgrade
- $1.97 million for the Cricket Centre of excellence*
- $1.5 million for a new animal shelter.
- $1.23 million for Icely Road Water Treatment Plant upgrade (incl. telemetry upgrade, land acquisition, site security and Lagoon upgrade)
(A number of these projects* depend on successful grant submissions to the NSW and Australian governments).
During budget deliberations on Tuesday night Council voted to donate more than $34,000 to community groups, more than $3,000 to sports participation programs, $32,000 for community events and $50,000 worth of sporting facility grants.
“We’re in a strong financial position, which means we can contribute to these important services run by members of our community,” Cr McRae said.
“Some examples of groups the funding is going to include the Come Together Choir, the O’Brien Centre, the Shepherd Centre (for deaf children) and the Vinnies Van.
“These services are run mostly by volunteers and mean a great deal to the people who use them. I am proud we’ve been able to help financially to ensure these services have the support they need to continue to help others.”
HIGHLIGHT: One of the highlight's of the budget includes a $30 million CBD upgrade