I am pleased to deliver the 2016/17 budget for Somerset Regional Council.
Council’s $44.5 million budget is one that reflects ongoing good financial management yet supports and promotes progress of Somerset and tangible long-term investments.
Council’s financial discipline over many years means that we are in the position of being able to match dollar-for-dollar grants when applying for financial assistance and when appropriate.
We are proud of our strong and debt-free financial position and we will continue to work hard to maintain this position.
We did not get here by accident.
The budget demonstrates both our financial sustainability and our success in securing grants, interest and revenue from sources other than ratepayer contributions.
Council will invest $7.8 million in renewing Council’s timber bridge network to ensure that local food producers can safely transport commercial loads to our largest employers – food processing facilities.
Council will invest a further $14 million into our core business of upgrading, maintaining and renewing roads, streets, drainage and paths.
Council has worked hard to contain its rate increase and is pleased to advise that for 96% of ratepayers the general rate increase is 2.5%. Council is also pleased to continue offering its generous early payment discount of 15%.
While delivering a low rate increase, Council will continue to offer its support to the community, providing community and emergency services groups with grants and support and delivering many other community projects, services and events.
Myself and Councillors Dan Hall, Helen Brieschke, Sean Choat, Cheryl Gaedtke, Otis Ogg and Bob Whalley are pleased to deliver this budget to Somerset residents and look forward to working with residents for the ongoing improvement of Somerset, now and into the future.
Somerset Regional Council Mayor