By Ewen McRae
Melton Council is planning to keep rates at a flat rate in their 2020/21 budget, as the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic continues.
The many councils have considered a freeze on rates increases in their draft budget, Melton is one of the few to have formally adopted the freeze in their draft budget.
Melton mayor Lara Carli said that not increasing rates in the next financial year was their way of supporting the community as much as possible through a difficult time for many.
“We always strive to do what’s best for our community and this year that meant taking into account the hardship many residents have experienced as a result of the COVID-19 crisis,” Cr Carli said.
“I’m really proud that we’ve been able to plan so many high quality services and facilities while also minimising the cost to ratepayers. A zero per cent rate rise will make a considerable difference to our residents.”
The draft budget, endorsed at last week’s council meeting, also includes plans for $105.6 in capital works, including a diverse mix of buildings ($44.6 million), leisure and community facilities ($18.5 million), road upgrades ($31.9 million), footpaths and cycle-ways ($1.3 million), library books ($518,000), and public art ($200,000).
This includes construction of the Eynesbury Station Early Learning Centre, extension of the Caroline Springs Community Facility, construction of Boundary Road from Mount Cottrell Road to the Outer Metropolitan Ring Road, extension of the Taylors Hill Youth and Community Centre, continued works to develop the Cobblebank Indoor Stadium, installation of traffic lights at a number of major intersections, and expansion of the Melton Recycling Facility.
“I’d encourage everyone to take a look at the draft budget and share your views with us to ensure the final budget meets the needs of our community now and into the future,” Cr Carli said
The draft budget is open for community feedback until July 22.