Council happy with its recovery
The Donnybrook-Balingup Shire Council was satisfied with the huge turnaround in its 2019-20 financial result and balanced budget for the coming year.
At the last council meeting on August 26, the council adopted the 2020-21 budget with a well-considered projected and balanced year-end position for June 30, 2021.
Given the troublesome start to the year, shire president Brian Piesse was pleased with the council’s response to the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Notwithstanding our well planned and delivered COVID pandemic response and recovery plans, ratepayers should be pleased,” Cr Piesse said.
“Council responded to the likely impact of the pandemic on family incomes, with a zero per cent general rate increase for 2020-2021, highlighting that over the three years out to 30 June 2021 the annualised rate increases averaged only 2.6 per cent.
“Through an in depth and all-embracing review of costs across the entire operation, the earlier 2019-20 amended forecast of a $900k deficit has been dramatically reduced to a projected end of year deficit of only $29,000.”
Cr Piesse was also grateful for recent State and Federal funding the council was able to receive.
“The shire has leveraged funding to the tune of $19 million for the biggest capital works and projects program on record,” he said.
“Key projects including the Donnybrook Town Centre Revitalisation and Apple Fun Park Redevelopment are already under way.
“These projects will provide employment opportunities, growth for the local economy and promote the shire as an attractive place to live, invest and visit with a stated aim over time of attracting a new wave of younger families to address our ageing population demographic.”
The Donnybrook Town Centre Revitalisation is due for completion in early 2021 with the Apple Fun Park Redevelopment due for completion later in the year.
“The shire will continue to support the community in the form of grants to community groups, events, and recreational activities throughout the length and breadth of the shire,” Cr Piesse said.
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