Baulkham Hills Shire Council has approved the 2009 rate levies, up 3.2 per cent on 2008, and also formally adopted delivery, business and works programs in a community strategic framework titled: “Hills 2026 – Looking Towards the Future.”
Mayor Sonya Phillips said for the first time, after major community consultation over the past two years, Council had drawn together community expectations and works programs to more accurately reflect ratepayer priorities.
“That is, the community aspirations have taken precedence, and our expenditure programs are tailored on an annual basis to reflect those wishes.
“While the expertise of Council’s staff is required to flesh out the detail, the community can be assured you are driving future implementation programs based on your strategic preferences,” Mayor Phillips said.
She explained that the average residential ratepayer in the Shire paid $1,133 for all Council services.
“That’s just $3.10 per day, less than a McDonalds’s snack,” she said.
Under the new budget estimates for 2008-2009, Council has budgeted for expenditure of $112.9 million in five strategic divisions. Approvals include:
Balanced urban growth $37 million: Includes work on Castle Hill CBD, footpaths and cycleways, traffic studies, and progress on Bella Vista Farm Park.
Vibrant communities $30 million: Includes improving bushland, parks, community buildings and sporting areas; refurbishment of buildings at Balcombe Heights Estate; and commencement on Wrights Road Reserve and Community Centre.
Protected environment $23 million: Includes undertaking actions from the ‘Cities for Climate Protection Program’; and further development of the Community Environment Centre at Annangrove.
Resilient leadership $8 million; and Modern Local Economy $640,000 (which includes a new visitors centre at Rouse Hill).
Mayor Phillips said full details of Council’s 2008-2009 works program and projected expenditure over the following four years is available on Council’s Web site.
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