RICHMOND Valley Council is continuing to build an exciting future for its community, with its draft budget for the 2021-2022 financial year including a $46 million capital works program to upgrade the Valley’s public facilities and amenities, as well as roads, bridges, and essential infrastructure.
Projects on the agenda for the next 12 months include upgrades of the Casino Swimming Pool and Razorback Lookout at Evans Head, construction of the new Rappville Hall and Community Precinct, and the Casino Showground & Racecourse redevelopment, alongside substantial investment in waste and resource recovery infrastructure, water and sewer infrastructure, and other essential assets.
The key projects in the capital works program include:
- More than $10 million to repair regional and rural roads and bridges, as well as urban roads
- Casino Memorial Swimming Pool modernisation – $6.085 million
- Casino Showground & Racecourse development – $5.049 million
- Real estate development projects – $3.191 million
- Nammoona Waste and Recovery Centre construction of a new cell (stage one) – $3 million and capping of four cells (stage one) – $1.89 million
- Sewerage infrastructure renewals – $3.767 million
- Water infrastructure renewals – $2.709 million
- Rappville Hall and Community Precinct – $1 million
- Casino Drill Hall Memorial Walk – $885,000
- Resource recovery infrastructure projects – $846,000
- Northern Rivers Rail Trail (phase 1) – $459,000
- Razorback Lookout Evans Head – $400,000
- Stormwater asset renewals – $375,000
- Coronation Park infrastructure upgrade – $355,000
- Footpath repairs and construction of new sections – $220,000
Richmond Valley Council General Manager Vaughan Macdonald said the $46.13 million capital works program would deliver a wide range of important projects.
Mr Macdonald said after facing a series of natural disasters over the past two years, as well as dealing with the pandemic, Council was continuing to focus on rebuilding the bushfire and flood-affected parts of the Richmond Valley as well as add recovery stimulus to the local economy.
He said Council was also leading the way to support a growing economy in the Richmond Valley, with the completion of new industrial land at Reynolds Road, as well as residential land at Canning Drive in Casino, to help meet current and future demand.
“These projects sit alongside our ongoing commitment to maintaining and renewing our road network and other essential infrastructure,” Mr Macdonald said.
Mr Macdonald said the draft budget balanced the need to maintain Council’s existing asset base and essential services with the development of new or substantially renewed facilities where needed, in line with Council’s 10-year Community Strategic Plan, Richmond Valley Made 2030.
He said Council’s proposed $67.74 million operational budget would continue to deliver essential services throughout 2021-2022.
He said Council continued to benefit from substantial grant funding from the Federal and State governments, while rates would rise in line with the IPART-approved 5.5 percent increase, and annual water, sewer and domestic waste charges would increase 6.51 percent, 4.88 percent and 4.55 percent respectively.
“Council prides itself on meeting and exceeding fundamental service delivery to our community and we will continue to do so into 2022,” Mr Macdonald said.
“I am pleased to say that we are also projected to deliver a cash surplus of $300,000 in 2021-2022, which is forecast to increase in the following year to $373,000.”
Mr Macdonald said following the COVID-19 postponement of local government elections by 12 months, Council was now commencing preparations for the elections this coming September.
He said following the elections, Council would be revising its Community Strategic Plan, which would include extensive consultation with the community.
“The Community Strategic Plan is the road map for the future of the Richmond Valley and will identify our major priorities for the next decade,” Mr Macdonald said.
“We look forward to consulting widely with the community in relation to this document and developing a vision which will be built on the community’s ideas.”
The Draft Operational Plan 2021-2022, Draft Revised Delivery Program 2017/2022, Draft Financial Estimates 2021/2025, Draft Revenue Policy 2021/2022 and Draft Long-Term Financial Plan 2021/2031 will be on public exhibition until 4.30pm Tuesday 15 June.
During the exhibition period, submissions from the community can be forwarded to the General Manager via email to firstname.lastname@example.org, or via post to Locked Bag 10, Casino NSW 2470. Submissions can also be made online.
The documents are available for viewing on Council’s website at https://richmondvalley.nsw.gov.au/council/on-exhibition/