Byron Shire Council headquarters at Mullumbimby
Byron Shire Council headquarters at Mullumbimby

Average rate rise $129 for year

BYRON Shire Council is raising its rates by 4.19%, or an additional $129 on average, next financial year.

The increase includes the 3.4% General Fund rate peg, along with increased charges for areas like waste management, water, sewerage or stormwater management service charges, Mayor Simon Richardson said in a statement yesterday.

Cr Richardson said the 2013/2014 financial year would begin a process of consolidation with a responsible budget that aimed to deliver key services like repairing aging roads and drainage networks and looking for new ways to help fund the increasing replacement costs.

While the budget falls short of the council's $1 million accumulated surplus target, Mayor Richardson said the council was continuing to look for ways to raise new and recurrent revenues from business units, improve efficiencies and review its property portfolio to capitalise on opportunities to support the recently implemented Infrastructure Renewal Fund.

Next financial year will see the council have a total operating income of $62.5 million, expenditure at $54.5 million and depreciation at $16.5 million.

Over $6.9 million will be spent on general fund capital works programs, $3.6 million on water fund capital works and almost $1.5 million on sewer fund capital works.

Key projects will include road upgrades at Whian Rd, Binna Burra Rd, Bangalow Rd, Orana Rd, Broken Head Rd and Natural Lane.

There will also be car-parking works at Middleton and Marvel Sts in Byron Bay and the final cycleway link on Ewingsdale Rd to the highway.