NAMBUCCA

SHIRE COUNCIL

 


Special Meeting of  Council

AGENDA ITEMS

12 May 2011

 

Council has adopted the following Vision and Mission Statements to describe its philosophy and to provide a focus for the principal activities detailed in its Management Plan.

 

Our Vision

Nambucca Valley ~ Living at its best.

 

Our  Mission Statement

 

‘The Nambucca Valley will value and protect its natural environment, maintain its assets and infrastructure and develop opportunities for its people.’

 

Our Values in Delivery

·                Effective leadership

·                Strategic direction

·                Sustainability of infrastructure and assets

·                Community involvement and enhancement through partnerships with Council

·                Enhancement and protection of the environment

·                Maximising business and employment opportunities through promotion of economic development

·                Addressing social and cultural needs of the community through partnerships and provision of facilities and services

·                Actively pursuing resource sharing opportunities

 

Council Meetings:  Overview and Proceedings

 

Council meetings are held on the first and third Thursday of each month commencing at 5.30 pm.  Council meetings are held in the Council Chamber at Council's Administration Centre—44 Princess Street, Macksville.

 

How can a Member of the Public Speak at a Council Meeting?

 

1        Addressing Council with regard to an item on the meeting agenda:

 

Members of the public are welcome to attend meetings and address the Council.  Registration to speak may be made by telephone or in person before 2.00 pm on a meeting day.  The relevant agenda item will be brought forward at 5.30 pm in agenda order, and dealt with following preliminary business items on the agenda.  Public addresses are limited to five (5) minutes per person with a limit of two people speaking for and two speaking against an item. 

 

2        Public forum address regarding matters not on the meeting agenda:

 

Council allows not more than two (2) members of the public per meeting to address it on matters not listed in the agenda provided the request is received before publication of the agenda and the subject of the address is disclosed and recorded on the agenda.

 

Speakers should address issues and refrain from making personal attacks or derogatory remarks.  You must treat others with respect at all times.

 

Meeting Agenda

 

These are available from the Council's Administration Building, the Regional Libraries in Macksville and Nambucca Heads as well as Council’s website: www.nambucca.nsw.gov.au


 

NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

Special Meeting of  Council - 12 May 2011

 

Acknowledgement of Country            (Mayor)

 

I would like to acknowledge the Gumbaynggirr people who are the Traditional Custodians of this Land.  I would also like to pay respect to the elders both past and present and extend that respect to any Aboriginal People present.

 

AGENDA                                                                                                   Page

 

1        APOLOGIES

2        PRAYER

3        DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST

4        CONFIRMATION OF MINUTES — Ordinary Council Meeting - 5 May 2011

5        PUBLIC FORUM

6        ASKING OF QUESTIONS WITH NOTICE   

7        QUESTIONS FOR CLOSED MEETING WHERE DUE NOTICE HAS BEEN RECEIVED

8        General Manager Report

8.1     Draft 2011-2012 Budget and Management Plan.................................................................... 5     

 

 


NAMBUCCA SHIRE COUNCIL

 

 

DISCLOSURE OF INTEREST AT MEETINGS

 

 

Name of Meeting:

 

Meeting Date:

 

Item/Report Number:

 

Item/Report Title:

 

 

 

I

 

declare the following interest:

          (name)

 

 

 

 

Pecuniary – must leave chamber, take no part in discussion and voting.

 

 

 

Non Pecuniary – Significant Conflict – Recommended that Councillor/Member leaves chamber, takes no part in discussion or voting.

 

 

Non-Pecuniary – Less Significant Conflict – Councillor/Member may choose to remain in Chamber and participate in discussion and voting.

 

For the reason that

 

 

 

 

 

 

Signed

 

Date

 

 

 

 

 

Council’s Email Address – council@nambucca.nsw.gov.au

 

Council’s Facsimile Number – (02) 6568 2201

 

(Instructions and definitions are provided on the next page).

 


Definitions

 

(Local Government Act and Code of Conduct)

 

 

Pecuniary – An interest that a person has in a matter because of a reasonable likelihood or expectation of appreciable financial gain or loss to the person or another person with whom the person is associated.

(Local Government Act, 1993 section 442 and 443)

 

A Councillor or other member of a Council Committee who is present at a meeting and has a pecuniary interest in any matter which is being considered must disclose the nature of that interest to the meeting as soon as practicable.

 

The Council or other member must not take part in the consideration or discussion on the matter and must not vote on any question relating to that matter. (Section 451).

 

 

Non-pecuniary – A private or personal interest the council official has that does not amount to a pecuniary interest as defined in the Act (for example; a friendship, membership of an association, society or trade union or involvement or interest in an activity and may include an interest of a financial nature).

 

If you have declared a non-pecuniary conflict of interest you have a broad range of options for managing the conflict.  The option you choose will depend on an assessment of the circumstances of the matter, the nature of your interest and the significance of the issue being dealt with.  You must deal with a non-pecuniary conflict of interest in at least one of these ways.

 

·        It may be appropriate that no action is taken where the potential for conflict is minimal.  However, council officials should consider providing an explanation of why they consider a conflict does not exist.

·        Limit involvement if practical (for example, participate in discussion but not in decision making or visa-versa).  Care needs to be taken when exercising this option.

·        Remove the source of the conflict (for example, relinquishing or divesting the personal interest that creates the conflict or reallocating the conflicting duties to another officer).

·        Have no involvement by absenting yourself from and not taking part in any debate or voting on the issue as if the provisions in section 451(2) of the Act apply (particularly if you have a significant non-pecuniary conflict of interest).

 

         


Special Meeting of  Council                                                                                                   12 May 2011

General Manager's Report

ITEM 8.1      SF1579            120511         Draft 2011-2012 Budget and Management Plan

 

AUTHOR/ENQUIRIES:     Michael Coulter, General Manager         

 

Summary:

 

General Fund

 

The initial draft, prior to review, had a deficit of $3.1m.  The revised deficit is now $51,000 but the outcome of the contract for the Macksville Aquatic Centre may increase this figure.  There is a strong possibility that further cuts in expenditure will be required and if so a recommendation will be made to Council’s special meeting on 23 June 2011.

 

In the context of the consideration of this draft budget there is certainly no scope to increase expenditure.  Any additional expenditure will need to be at least balanced by an equivalent reduction.

 

Council has not sought a special variation for its General Fund in 2011-2012 and instead has to operate within the rate pegging limit of 2.8%.  This has been one, but not the only factor in contributing to a very difficult budget where just maintaining existing service levels has proven impossible, let alone reducing the growing backlog of ageing infrastructure.  It is an austerity budget.

 

Domestic Waste

 

A contingency has been made for additional processing costs for the biomass (compost from red bins).  This additional expense is expected to be incurred for at least part of next year.

 

Notwithstanding it has been possible to hold charges at 2010/2011 rates, being $438 for a standard residential service.

 

Water Fund

 

The draft budget makes provision for an expenditure of $10.3m on the off stream storage.  The kilolitre charge for water is proposed to increase from $1.49 to $1.93.  The access charge for a 20mm & 25mm is proposed to increase from $73.00 to $88.00.

 

Sewerage Fund.

 

There is a total increase in electricity costs of $129,000 per annum.  Sewerage access charges are proposed to increase from $415 per annum to $437 per annum.  Sewerage usage charges will increase from $2.38 per kilolitre to $3.23 per kilolitre in accordance with the best practice pricing requirements.

 

 

Recommendation:

 

1        That Council advertise the draft 2011-2012 budget and management plan for a minimum of 28 days.

 

2        Council seek expressions of interest from its staff for voluntary redundancy as per the Award provisions, noting that Council is not obliged to accept any or all offers, with each offer to be assessed on its merits including the duties of the position, the cost of the position to the general fund and the cost of the redundancy.  Following referral to the Consultative Committee, recommendations to accept offers of voluntary redundancy will be reported to Council for determination as a variation to its organisation structure.  It is proposed that the organisation structure be reduced by at least 2 positions.

 

3        Council note that it cannot finalise any change to Council’s organisation structure until consultation has taken place in accordance with the Local Government Award.

 

 

 

OPTIONS:

 

The budget proposed for the General Fund for 2011/2012 is unsustainable.  It requires Council to reduce reserves and staffing levels to maintain an already inadequate asset renewal ratio.

 

A “business as usual” approach will result in Council’s infrastructure decaying to the point that it will be unsafe to use.  This is already occurring with expensive infrastructure such as bridges where Council does not have the funds to undertake necessary bridge replacement.

 

The options are:

 

·      “Do nothing” and try and contend with the unplanned closure of unsafe infrastructure when it happens.

·      More critically review general fund expenditure and undertake planned reductions in service levels for selected programs and activities

·      Seek additional revenue above the rate pegging limit.  This is not an option for 2011-2012.

 

 

DISCUSSION:

 

Council staff have now completed a draft budget and management plan for 2011-2012 for consideration by Council.

 

To recap Council operates three funds; the General Fund, Water Fund and the Sewerage Fund.  In 2011/2012 the General Fund is subject to rate pegging of 2.8%.  There is no rate pegging on the Water Fund or Sewerage Fund with guidance being provided by Council’s adopted IWCM and best practice pricing requirements.  Domestic waste is allowed to be managed so that it is self funding/cost neutral.

 

Draft 2011-2012 Budget

 

The draft budget has been reviewed by management and consistent with normal practice has been adjusted to a near balanced state with the list of additions and deletions in an attached document for the information of Councillors.

 

General Fund

 

The initial draft, prior to review, had a deficit of $3.1m.  The review of the budget by management has reduced this deficit to $30,000, however the inclusion of rating revenue for the Scotts Head Caravan Park needs to be removed.  It will be recalled that following the receipt of legal advice, Council served a rates notice on the Trust but the Land and Property Management Authority and the Minister have rejected liability for the payment of general rates.  As a consequence Council’s rate revenue has been adjusted downward adding a further $21,000 to the deficit.

 

A further consideration is that the contract for the operation of the Macksville Aquatic Centre is yet to be finalised.  Depending upon the contractor selected by Council this may also increase the deficit.  The outcome of the contract for the Macksville Aquatic Centre will be known before the finalisation of the budget.  There is a strong possibility that further cuts in expenditure will be required and if so a recommendation will be made to Council’s special meeting on 23 June 2011.

 

In the context of the consideration of this draft budget there is certainly no scope to increase expenditure.

 

Council has not sought a special variation for its General Fund in 2011-2012 and instead has to operate within the rate pegging limit of 2.8%.  This has been one, but not the only factor in contributing to a very difficult budget where just maintaining existing service levels has proven impossible, let alone reducing the growing backlog of ageing infrastructure.  Other factors are the depressed property market, cost shifting including RFS cost increases and the loss of regional road funding and increases in electricity costs.

 

To present a balanced budget, Council’s management is recommending the deletion or deferral of most new “bids” and some significant reductions and reallocations in existing programs.  It is an austerity budget.  In making the recommendations consideration was given to the findings of the 2010 Community Survey.

 

The major changes which are recommended by Council’s management to the initial draft budget are as follows:

 

1.   Deferral of the replacement of the footbridge over Deep Creek at Valla Beach providing a saving of $600,000.  This footbridge is in poor condition but repairs of approximately $20,000 should extend its life for a number of years.  However eventually Council will need to commit to replacing or removing the footbridge.

 

According to Council’s former Director Engineering Services, the footbridge across Deep Creek was constructed in approximately 1973 by the Australian Paper Mills, the then owner of the caravan park.  They secured a lease from the then Land and Property Management Authority and with that lease all responsibility for the maintenance and repair of the bridge.

 

About 12 years ago the condition of the bridge had substantially deteriorated and the owner of the resort sought to relinquish the lease.  Community agitation to the then Council resulted in Council accepting the lease and the maintenance responsibility.  The LPMA provided Council with about $30,000 in funding to undertake repairs to the bridge.  This repair work was done by James Bilson. 

 

We are now proposing to repeat the repair process undertaken 12 years ago, but this will not avoid the need to replace or remove the bridge in the short to medium term.

 

2.   Sale of one of Council’s three graders and the review of the organisation structure with the aim of reducing the structure by at least 2 positions.  This will provide a saving in 2011/2012 of $200,000.  Investigation by Council’s Director Engineering Services indicates that Council’s graders have relatively low utilisation, between 30% and 40%, and that Council’s grading operations can be adequately undertaken by the remaining 2 graders.

 

3.   Deferral of the next stage of the Works Depot upgrade saving $200,000.  Again the condition of Council’s depot is such that the liability has been deferred rather than avoided.

 

4.   Deletion of all proposed expenditure on Council’s Saleyard including the $100,000 in the 2010/2011 budget for an upgrade of the effluent management system.  This is a total saving of $282,500.  There is some risk exposure with this recommendation if Council continues to operate the Saleyards.  Council has sought expressions of interest in the leasing of the saleyards and there is a need to finalise their future.  Further investment in the saleyards will be at the expense of other Council activities.

 

5.   The planned replacement of Weekes Bridge on South Arm with a single lane structure instead of a two lane structure (the existing bridge is 2 lane).  This is a reduction in service level and will provide a saving of $150,000.

 

6.   Deletion of all proposed strategic town planning consultancies being a Macksville revitalisation strategy ($50,000), review and ground truthing of vegetation mapping ($50,000) and a rural lands strategy ($50,000), a total saving of $150,000.

 

7.   Deferral of the planned replacement of the Bellwood Park toilets providing a saving of $150,000.  The toilets are poorly constructed and are in a poor condition.  This liability will obviously remain.

 

8.   Deletion of proposed Council expenditure on Regional Roads providing a saving of $150,000.

 

9.   Deletion of funding for the position of Director Corporate Services providing a saving of $143,000.

 

10.  Deferral of the proposed rehabilitation of Tuna Street, Valla Beach with the street to be left at its present width and condition.  The allocated funds of $132,000 are recommended for reallocation to bitumen resealing.

 

11.  The deletion of a footpath sweeper and the deferral of the replacement of the Bridge Crew truck from the plant reserve providing a saving of $120,000.

 

12.  Deletion of a proposed transfer to a pool replacement reserve providing a saving of $119,000.

 

13.  Deletion of a transfer to the plant replacement reserve providing a saving of $90,300.

 

14.  Deferral of both the planned expansion of the Nambucca Heads Cemetery and Macksville Cemetery providing a saving of $90,000.

 

15.  Deletion of provision for the clearing of the Macksville (East Street) drain (Hughes Creek) providing a saving of $50,000.

 

16.  Deletion of proposed changeover from the Merit Customer Request System to the Authority Customer Request System.  The latter would provide integration with Council’s Trim document management system and our Authority software.  This provides a saving of $39,300.

 

17.  Reduction in allocation for PC replacement.  Council has maintained a program for PC replacement at a cost of approximately $30,000 per annum.  This has been halved for 2011/2012 to $15,000 providing a saving of $15,000.

 

General Fund borrowings for 2011/12 are proposed to be $925,000 which will maintain the debt service ratio for General Fund at approximately 7%.  The borrowed funds will be applied to the replacement of Weeke’s bridge ($325,000) and bitumen resealing.

 

The draft budget has no provision for repairing existing landslips in Nambucca Heads, nor attending to the additional work required to stabilise Riverside Drive.

 

In terms of asset management, additional attention has been given to heavy patching where the allocation for rural roads and urban roads is proposed to be increased by $100,000 respectively ($200,000 total).  The allocation for bitumen reseals has been increased by $132,000 being the funds initially proposed for the Tuna Street rehabilitation.  It is also proposed to replace the lighting on the V-Wall which is in poor repair and poses a safety risk.  This cost of replacing the V-Wall lighting is $111,000.

 

Draft budgets which cannot maintain reserves, or can only fund the capital renewal of assets by reducing existing staffing levels, are clearly unsustainable.

 

The draft 2011/2012 budget provides an insight of the difficult choices which lay ahead.  Revenue will either need to substantially increase or service levels will need to be substantially reduced.  The third alternative is that Council embark on a strategy which incorporates both.

 

A “business as usual” approach will result in Council’s infrastructure decaying to the point that it will be unsafe to use.  This is already occurring with expensive infrastructure such as bridges where Council does not have the funds to undertake necessary bridge replacement.  The problems funding the replacement of Deep Creek Bridge, the repair of existing and potential land slides on Riverside Drive, and the replacement of the Valla Beach footbridge are just some examples.

 

Some options to reduce expenditure (and service levels) which can be considered are:

 

·      A more critical review of the replacement of staff who resign

·      Seeking expressions of interest for voluntary redundancy

·      Avoid general fund expenditure on the Macksville Saleyards

·      Avoid general fund expenditure on Boulton’s Crossing Reserve

·      Reduction in library opening hours

·      Resigning membership of the Mid North Coast Group of Councils

·      Wherever possible, a reduced service level on bridges, ie reducing widths from two lanes to 1 lane

·      Reduced financial support for community groups

 

Whilst a reduction of staffing levels may avoid the immediate community hostility inherent in closing a library, the saleyards or a bridge, it will reduce the capacity of staff to respond to requests from ratepayers and requests from Council.  Also a reduced staffing level will not, of itself, resolve the issues with asset management identified in this budget and Council’s Asset Management Plans.

 

Notwithstanding, it is recommended that Council seek expressions of interest in voluntary redundancy from its staff to reduce its organisation structure by at least 2 positions.  The positions of grader driver and the associated labourer would become redundant.  There are 2 unfilled positions in traffic control/labouring and depending upon the expressions of interest which are received there is potential to redeploy the affected incumbents. 

 

 The provisions in the Award for voluntary redundancy are:

 

Completed years of service with Council

Entitlement

Less than 1 year

Nil

1 year and less than 2 years

5 weeks pay

2 years and less than 3 years

9 weeks pay

3 years and less than 4 years

13 weeks pay

4 years and less than 5 years

16 weeks pay

5 years and less than 6 years

19 weeks pay

6 years and less than 7 years

22 weeks pay

7 years and less than 8 years

25 weeks pay

8 years and less than 9 years

28 weeks pay

9 years and less than 10 years

31 weeks pay

10 years and thereafter

34 weeks pay

 

The above entitlement is in addition to any accrued leave.  Voluntary redundancy payments would need to be met from Council’s working funds.  The Council would need to accept the reduced level of service from the redundant positions to reduce the potential for their future reinstatement.  There have been examples in government of redundant positions being reinstated within a short period, or worse redundant staff being rehired as consultants or contractors.

 

Public Submissions

 

Community input into the draft budget and management plan has been sought through a media release and advertisements.  A number of public and Council submissions have been received requesting consideration of items in the draft management plan and budget.  These are summarised with comment below and are also circularised in full.

 

Doc No.

Author

Request

Comment

31453/2010

Council

Council consider committing $40K to addressing the landslip in Ocean & Matthew Streets, Scotts Head

No provision made for funding landslip repairs/prevention anywhere.  Funding for such work would need to be identified.

31464/2010

Trevor Keast, E J Biffin Fields CoM

Piping of middle drain, levelling of old tennis courts, draining of long jump pit

The estimate for the piping of the middle drain is $170,000 and was assessed as unaffordable.  Other requests can be met from existing budgets.

2380/2011

Cr South

Improve public toilet facilities; upgrade Taylors Arm Road between Talarm intersection and Congarinni South intersection; provision of signage on highway south of Macksville to encourage travellers into the town; replacing railing on show ring at Showground; improve intersection of Wilson Road and North Congarinni Road; revise speed limits south of Macksville; pruning of shrubs at intersection of Grandview Drive; Cultural Centre at Nambucca Heads (similar to Gatton’s).

There was only one toilet rebuild at Bellwood Park ($150,000) which was deleted to balance the budget.  Substantial rehabilitation funding being directed to Taylors Arm Road.  No provision made for funding other suggestions, although the signage and pruning can be met from existing budgets.

Verbal

Cr Moran

Requested that some provision be made for funding for the Showground as it is the 100th anniversary of the Macksville Show next year

Internal loop road needs rehabilitation.  Not costed nor included in the draft budget.  Showground Committee of Management should provide contributory funding.

4406/2011

Malcolm Lindsay

Requests a bicycle path from Macksville/Pacific Highway turnoff to Scotts Head – similar to Kempsey Shire path along Grassy Head Road.

The attraction of bicycle paths for tourists is agreed. No provision has been made in the draft budget for any cycle way expenditure.  With inadequate funding for the repair of existing roads and bridges it is not prudent to create new assets and additional liability.

5139/2011

Macksville & District Chamber of Commerce & Industry

Seek improvements to the Macksville Memorial Park, particularly in relation to the, “eyesore which is currently the shelter shed and the need to provide pleasant units of tables and benches, preferably with an awning”.  Require attractive covered tables and chairs and well maintained toilets to attract tourists.  Also have previously raised the issue of identification plaques for birds around the lake and increased elderly seating in the vicinity.

The draft budget is unable to sustain the maintenance of existing assets let alone the creation of new ones.  The major capital works related to buildings being the toilet in Bellwood Park and the next stage of the Works Depot upgrade were both deleted to present a balanced budget.  Additional seating in Dawkins Park can be met from existing budgets.  Bird species currently restricted to Ibis.

2475/2011

Robbie Widdrington

Upgrading/redevelopment of the Macksville Skatepark.

Likely cost in excess of $160,000.  Likely to be unaffordable without substantial grant funding.  No provision made in draft budget.  Grant funding opportunities will be followed up.  Council will have to decide in relation to any contributory funding arising .

31092/2010

Andrew Stoner

Expressing support for upgrade of the Macksville Skatepark.

Refer to comment above.

7724/2011

Capt. Nicole Viles

Supporting redevelopment of the Macksville Skatepark.

Refer to comment above.

9341/2011

Residents of Grassy Road, Bowraville

Request dust sealing of part of road.

Council receives regular requests for the sealing of rural roads to reduce dust.  Requests will increase when we return to drier seasons.  The cost of maintaining a sealed road is far greater than an unsealed road.  An indicative cost of sealing an existing gravel road in a good standard is $300,000 per km.  If Council is unable to adequately maintain its existing sealed road network, it is not prudent to divert funds from the maintenance and repair of existing assets to create additional liabilities in new assets.

8189/2011

Michelle Atkins

Request bus shelter on the Bellingen Road intersection of Wia-Ora Road, Bowraville.

There is provision in the budget for a single shelter which is proposed to be located on Upper Warrel Creek Road to service the new residential subdivision.

5537/2011

Bellevue Drive residents, Macksville

Seek riverbank protection adjacent to Bellevue Drive.  Bank is eroding threatening trees and the concrete cycleway.

There is no provision in the budget, either in the proposed expenditure from the Environmental Levy or as a separate line item, for riverbank protection work.  The concerns of the residents are agreed.  There are large sections of River Street, Gumma Road, Taylors Arm Road as well as Bellevue Drive where bank erosion is threatening the road pavement.

3357/2011

Rex Barber

Requests provision of a footpath in Adin Street, Scotts Head between the Tennis Club and the Bowling Club.

Not included in draft budget.  As with roads, the funding of new footpaths should remain a lower priority than the maintenance and repair of existing footpaths to a satisfactory and safe standard.  Should be included in works arising out of the Master Plan for the caravan park and reserve (if it proceeds).

2394/2011

Scotts Head Bowling & Rec Club

Requests provision of a footpath in Adin Street, Scotts Head between the Tennis Club and the Bowling Club.  Also requests that the open drain beside the Adin Street oval adjoining the Club property be cleared.

As above.  Maintenance work on the drain can be undertaken.  Any improvement will only be temporary.  Drainage issue to be addressed in the work arising out of the Master Plan for the caravan park and reserve (if it proceeds).

2000/2011

Jules & Donna Leaudais

Seek 10m extension of kerb and gutter in Acacia Road, Gumma

Minor job.  Can proceed in 2011/12 provided owners provide a 50% contribution.

30796/2010

Russel Waters

Concerned about lack of drainage in Summer Place and overland flow through properties in Marshall Way.

There is provision for the creation of an easement and piped drainage in the 2010/2011 budget.

 

It is proposed that the public submissions which have been received in response to preparing the draft budget and management plan be added to any received during the public exhibition of the documents.  Council will then have another opportunity to review all public submissions before it finally adopts the budget and management plan at its special meeting scheduled for Thursday 23 June 2011.

 

Domestic Waste

 

A contingency has been made for additional processing costs for the biomass (compost from red bins).  This additional expense is expected to be incurred for at least part of next year. 

 

Notwithstanding it has been possible to hold charges at 2010/2011 rates, being $438 for a standard residential service.  This will be the third year that domestic waste management charges have been held at $438.  This outcome is mainly attributable to the work of the Waste Management Officer, Council’s former Director Engineering Services and Council’s consultant Richard Green who negotiated an agreement with the Department of Environment, Climate Change and Water in relation to the leachate cut off wall on the old landfill.

 

Water Fund

 

The draft budget has made provision for significant increases in energy costs.  For example the provision for pump station electricity costs has been increased by 20% from $200,000 to $240,000.

 

A major additional expense has been interest on loans increasing from $305,800 in 2010/2011 to $741,300 in 2011/2012.  The increase relates to a $5m loan for the off stream storage to be taken out over 30 years at an interest rate of 9.6%.

 

The draft budget makes provision for an expenditure of $10.3m on the off stream storage, $5m of which is the loan referred to above.  In the event that Council decides not to proceed with the construction of the off stream dam and not drawn down the $10m loan, there will be a surplus of revenue which can added to the reserve.  This would allow the kilolitre charge to be maintained or reduced in future years.  Equally if Council proceeds with the off stream dam and secures the promised $9m from the Australia Government, then the $10m loan would be deferred to the following year with a consequent saving on interest and an increase to the reserve.

 

The draft budget makes provision for the kilolitre charge for water to increase from $1.49 to $1.93.  The access charge for a 20mm & 25mm is proposed to increase from $73.00 to $88.00.

 

Sewerage Fund

 

Again provision has been made for significant (20%) increases in electricity costs for Council’s pump stations.  The upgraded Nambucca Heads Sewerage Treatment Plan also requires additional electricity for its enhanced treatment systems.  Provision has been made for an additional $88,000 in electricity costs for the Nambucca Heads Sewerage Plant, $15,000 for additional electricity costs at the other treatment plants and an additional $26,000 in electricity costs for pump stations.  This is a total increase in electricity costs of $129,000 per annum.

 

Sewerage access charges are proposed to increase from $415 per annum to $437 per annum.

 

Sewerage usage charges will increase from $2.38 per kilolitre to $3.23 per kilolitre in accordance with the best practice pricing requirements.

 

Management Plan

 

Council’s management plan has comprised a 20 year community strategic plan which contains targets and strategies and an unrelated set of 5 year strategies and actions.  Under the Integrated Planning and Reporting (IPR) legislation the Council will need to produce a community strategic plan (minimum 10 years), a four year delivery program and annual operational plan all of which have integrated objectives, strategies, actions and measures.

 

The existing management plan has been recast for 2011/2012 in a form which meets the requirements of the IPR legislation.  Further work will be required on its presentation and detail and also the preparation of a summary document.

 

 

CONSULTATION:

 

Council’s management executive has met several times to review the draft budget.  The initial draft budget for general fund had a deficit of $3.117m.  Further consultation needs to occur with affected staff and Council’s Consultative Committee in relation to redundancy and opportunities for the redeployment of staff.

 

 

SUSTAINABILITY ASSESSMENT:

 

Environment

The budget determines the funding available for environmental investigations, work, reporting and compliance activities.  Most of this funding is derived from the general fund.  The recommendation to seek expressions of interest for voluntary redundancies with a view to reducing Council’s workforce may affect service levels across the organisation and ultimately the environment.

 

Social

Whilst Council receives considerable grant funding for community services, the budget situation is such that the limited financial assistance provided to community groups should be reviewed.

 

Economic

A reduction in Council’s workforce may have a negative impact on the local economy.  The impact will depend upon the extent to which such reductions can be offset by increased employment in the private sector.

 

Risk

The inability to fund required work to maintain assets does generate a range of risks.  The identified work which presents the greatest risk (if not undertaken) are the landslip repairs, bridge repairs and the Macksville Saleyards.  Equally the loss of staff will increase risks in other areas.

 

 

FINANCIAL IMPLICATIONS:

 

Direct and indirect impact on current and future budgets

 

The report concerns the 2011/2012 budget and it has an impact on future budgets.

 

Source of fund and any variance to working funds

 

The budget is presented in close to a balanced state and as such should have a minimal impact on working funds.

 

 

 

 

CIRCULARISED DOCUMENTS:

 

Draft Management Plan (Trim 4636/2011)

Draft Infrastructure Management Plan (Trim 11672/2011)

Draft Fees & Charges (Trim 11665/2011)

Draft Forward Plan (Trim 11671/2011)

Draft Budget 2011/2012 (Trim 11670/2011)                                                                                         

Public Submissions (Trim 30796/2010, 2000/2011, 2394/2011, 3357/2011, 5537/2011, 8180/2011, 9341/2011, 7724/2011, 31092/2011, 2475/2011, 5139/2011, 4406/2011, 2380/2011, 31464/2011, 31453/2011)

 

Attachments:

1View

11658/2011 - List of Additions and Deletions by MANEX Meeting

 

  


Special Meeting of  Council - 12 May 2011

Draft 2011-2012 Budget and Management Plan