NOVEMBER 30 is the deadline for Manning Valley residents to complete the Greater Taree City Council survey on its proposed Special Rate Variation (SRV).
Greater Taree City Council has been pulling out all the stops to try to engage and educate the community about its proposal to increase rates by six per cent over six years.
This week senior council staff manned a pop-up shopfront in Manning Street, next to Taree Central, to give members of the community easy access to information about the proposed SRV and council’s strategy for using the additional $9.96 million dollars that could be raised for road maintenance.
Numbers of visitors to the pop-up shopfront have been around 80 a day, according to a Greater Taree City Council spokesperson.
Reaction to Greater Taree City Council’s community engagement on social media has generally been negative with the forum delivering numerous comments from people about the quality of previous work undertaken by council staff, the management of money, and its ability to source additional revenue from the State and federal government.
Council staff have responded to most comments and consistently directed the community to visit the pop-up shopfront or its website for detailed information and access to the SRV survey. As of Thursday council reported that 166 people have completed the survey.
Post by Greater Taree City Council’s Facebook post about SRV survey numbers.
According to council, the SRV’s sole purpose is to stop roads in the Greater Taree local government area from deteriorating further. It will not be used to construct new roads and bridges, but invested in maintaining existing infrastructure.
Currently, council spends 40 per cent of the $27.7 million generated from rates on infrastructure. It proposes to boost that spend to 51 per cent on infrastructure if the SRV is supported and it secures the additional $9.96 million.
The millions will come from the rates paid by residents who own property in the Greater Taree local government area and according to council, “the average weekly increase, for someone currently paying annual rates of $1000, is $4.83. This starts at $1.15 per week in year 1, and increases each year, up to $9.03 in year 6.”
This figure differs from the one originally calculated and promoted by Greater Taree City Council of “an average of $78.26 per year, or $1.50 per week, over the proposed six year period.”
Council’s new calculations were this week promoted at its pop-up shopfront and on the website.
The average of $4.83 on the annual rates figure of $1000 comes from council’s calculation that the SRV would add the following amounts per week to the annual rates figure over the six years.
In year one of the SRV ratepayers would need to find an additional $1.15 per week; it would increase to $2.43 in year two; $3.85 in year three; $5.41 in year four; $7.13 in year five and finally, it would cost an extra $9.03 per week in its sixth year.
Evidence of community consultation is an essential component of the SRV application process to the Independent Regulatory and Pricing Tribunal (IPART).
Council in its application must demonstrate the importance of the SRV for the Greater Taree region; the impact to our roads without the SRV; and the level of rate-payer support for the SRV.
Council will make its application in early 2016.
RELATED STORY:SRV: ‘No other option’ says Cr Christensen
To go to council’s SRV survey pageclick here.
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