KINGSTON Council projects a $26.8 million surplus in its draft 2021/2022 annual budget.
Council has proposed to raise rates by an average of 1.5 per cent in the next financial year, a move it says is “in compliance with the Fair Go rates system legislation”.
The draft 21/22 budget features $74.4 million worth of capital works projects. The most expensive project planned in the next year is the redevelopment of the Mentone Life Saving Club and foreshore precinct. That work is projected to cost ratepayers $11.2 million.
Aspendale and Bonbeach Life Saving clubs are both scheduled for $3 million redevelopments. Over $1 million will be spent at the Chelsea Yacht Club.
Projects at Souter Reserve in Dingley, Peter Scullin Reserve in Mordialloc, Roy Dore Reserve in Carrum, and Elder Street Reserve in Clarinda are included in the budget.
The draft budget states that council expects to be debt free in July 2021. No additional borrowings are proposed for the 2021/2022 financial year.
The budget contained a statement from the mayor Steve Staikos. He said “as we are developing this budget, we are also working hand-in-hand with our community to shape the future of Kingston. We have enlisted a representative panel of community members to develop a community vision and provide key advice on strategic guiding plans, including our council plan and financial plan. Once the consultation is complete, and our new council plan 2021-2025 has been adopted, this budget may be revised to take into account any realignment to our goals and projects.”
Councillors will meet on 15 June to hear presentations of submissions received on the draft budget. The budget is then expected to be adopted at council’s 28 June meeting.