Wudinna District Council adopts 2019-20 budget with 3.4 per cent rate increase

The Wudinna District Council will absorb the state government's 40 per cent increase to the Solid Waste Levy for the 2019-20 financial year.

The council adopted its budget for the next 12 months at the July meeting, with ratepayers to pay an average of 3.4 per cent more for rates in the upcoming financial year.

After the state government's recent levy announcement was forced upon local councils, mayor Eleanor Scholz said the council did not want to pass on the rise to ratepayers.

The levy previously cost regional councils $50 per tonne of landfill but rose to $55 on July 1 and will rise again to $70 on January 1, 2020.

"We are not increasing rates because of the levy, we are going to absorb the costs this year," she said.

"However, factoring in that the levy will continue to rise, we will eventually have to account for it.

"We weren't very impressed with the levy and would like to see those costs inflicted on us reinvested through the levy into assisting rural communities deal with the cost of waste."

Ms Scholz said she would also like to see money spent on education and projects surrounding reducing food waste, and recycling.

She said the council took a number of aspects into consideration when deciding upon this year's rate increase, including the long term financial plan, asset management plan, continuing projects, the road construction program, maintaining existing service levels and also the limited rate growth in the district.

The council has 1371 rateable properties and 283 non-rateable, with the capital value of properties in townships only increasing by 0.03 per cent, and rural properties increasing by 5.59 per cent.

Projects such as the Eyre Highway streetscape upgrade at Wudinna and 41 kilometres of the road construction program are some of the major undertakings over the next year.

"Other projects factored in include re-sealing of town roads in Minnipa and Wudinna, a fencing project to get underway around a reserve at Tcharkulda, the Wudinna Medical Practice porch, more footpaths and the skate and spray project at Apex Park," Ms Scholz said.

"We are also in the process of replacing financial software council uses, as the previous software is out of date."

She said the council was in a healthy long-term position.

"Councils work on having an operating surplus ratio over any five-year period and we have had that over the past five years, so we are well within the range recommended for councils."