THE District Council of Ceduna has sought public opinion for their annual Business Plan and Budget for the upcoming financial year, with most of the feedback returning so far being positive.
The Council has been seeking opinions from ratepayers in the District about the Council’s services.
Only a very small percentage of the surveys were returned, but the Council said the feedback has been mostly positive.
A number of capital projects are planned over the next financial year, which will include work to Denial Bay and Koonibba Pump Stations, Pinky Point upgrade and Denial Bay Carpark Solar Light.
Larger projects such as the Skatepark Park Public Area upgrade and the Thevenard Commercial Fish Unloading Wharf will be dependant on external funding to proceed.
Outgoing CEO Trevor Smart said the Council is confident the majority of their capital projects will proceed over the next year.
“We are confident the majority of projects will receive external funding and will proceed as planned,” he said.
“Because our rates are lower than other councils it puts pressure on the Council to seek external funding.”
There has been a small increase in Council rates this year, with general rates sitting at 34.4 per cent and other rates at 12.7 per cent going into the next financial year.
Ceduna Mayor Allan Suter said it will be a tight budget this financial year but the Council should be able to manage it.
“The Council decided to keep the rate of increase at a minimum this financial year,” he said.
“We’ve set a very tight budget, it won’t be easy but we will manage, we always do.”
The Council held a budget meeting at the Council chambers almost three weeks ago, which was attended by one ratepayer, Joyce Brewster of Denial Bay.
Ms Brewster said the rate rise wasn’t preferable to her, but was necessary.
“I was disappointed by the rate rise, but it was unavoidable at this time because the alternative would’ve been to cut services,” she said.
“I hope rates don’t continue to go up, because if they do ten years down the track many locals won’t be able to afford their own homes.”
Ms Brewster has voiced concern over a section of Denial Bay Road, which has been chipped away and getting thinner due to repeated use by trucks, the Council said they would put funds aside to address the problem.
Ms Brewster also addressed a need for the Council to limit the number of cars the Council uses for personal use.
Ms Brewster said she hopes external funding can be aquired so many of the Council’s projects can go ahead.
“These projects need to go ahead, a lot of it will help local industries, especially the fishing industry with the Unloading Facility as mining ships have been taking space in the port,” she said.
“We will all be better off if they get the funding, because I don’t like to see ratepayers coping the brunt of it.”