Option 3: Improve Services – Increase Rates

9.8% average residential rate increase (including 3% rate cap)
12.8% average business rate increase each year (including 3% rate cap)

Under this option the community will see much of their vision as outlined in the 10 Year Community Plan come to life. Option 3 is designed to deliver on priorities identified through community consultation, and is based on what people have said they want to see more of, or wish to see maintained or improved. The increased funding will allow Council to improve levels of service to the community and support an additional program of works for roads, pools, libraries, sports centres, parks and playgrounds, and upgrades to town centres.


9.8% average residential rate increase (including 3% rate cap)
12.8% average business rate increase each year (including 3% rate cap)

Under this option the community will see much of their vision as outlined in the 10 Year Community Plan come to life. Option 3 is designed to deliver on priorities identified through community consultation, and is based on what people have said they want to see more of, or wish to see maintained or improved. The increased funding will allow Council to improve levels of service to the community and support an additional program of works for roads, pools, libraries, sports centres, parks and playgrounds, and upgrades to town centres.

Improvements in maintenance of our City's assets and infrastructure

Funds will be injected into infrastructure renewal and maintenance across the City, with an additional $15M over the 7-year period.

This will significantly improve the standard of maintenance and overall appearance of the City. Response times for maintenance requests will be reduced including vandalism repairs, pothole patching, and drainage clearing.

Regular services such as litter removal, street sweeping, and toilet cleaning will be conducted more frequently.

This amount allows for an increase in the number of assets in the City over 7 years and recognises that maintenance costs and community expectations change over time.

Roads and drainage improve

Under Option 3, the condition of our roads is expected to reach the 'very good' range within the next 10 years through a program of targeted renewal. This will be achieved through a $42M investment over the next 7 years in programs for road reconstruction and resurfacing.

Funding will be available to upgrade drainage infrastructure and replace drainage that fails.

Environmental programs and works maintained

Sustainability works and programs will continue beyond 2014/15, when the Sustainability Levy finishes.

Read more about the Sustainability Levy and current environmental programs. (link to sustainability levy content)

Existing community facilities upgraded and new facilities built

Rate increases under Option 3 will allow Council to keep the Lake Macquarie Performing Arts Centre and pools open. Council will also implement recommendations from the Library Service Delivery Model, which proposes 2 new libraries at Morisset and Glendale, costing $7.4M.

Lake Macquarie Art Gallery will be extended to incorporate seminar rooms and the sculpture park will be extended in the gallery grounds.

The community will also benefit from:

  • Rathmines Community Hall kitchen upgrade
  • Renovation of Lambton Colliery, Redhead Community Buildings
  • Refurbishment of the Sugar Valley Neighbourhood Centre
  • A new amenity block at Warners Bay foreshore

Sporting and recreation facilities improved

Under Option 3, $20.4M will be provided over 7 years to redevelop our pools according to recommendations in Council's Pool Service Delivery Model. This includes redevelopment of Charlestown Pool and a new water play zone at Speers Point.

Our sport and recreation facilities will be improved and extended across the City:

Sportsground improvements to playing surfaces, lighting, amenities, and car parks across the City ($6M over 7 years)
Additional sporting fields at Edgeworth (funded in part by developer contributions) ($5.3M)
Continued implementation of:

  • Cameron Park Master Plan – Sports Fields and Parks (funded in part by developer contributions) ($7.6M over 5 years)
  • Speers Point Park Master Plan ($1.1M over 4 years)
  • Toronto Foreshore Master Plan including new play equipment

New Youth and Aboriginal Programs

Additional youth and Aboriginal programs will be delivered in partnership with relevant organisations. Current staffing maintained and frontline staffing increased

Current staffing levels will be maintained and in addition, Ranger staffing will be increased as per Option 2.

New capital projects

New capital expenditure over the 7 years will increase to $326M, and includes the works detailed above.

In addition a program to upgrade town centres will be developed. $7M will be allocated over 7 years for upgrades in 9 locations: Cardiff, Charlestown, Belmont, Toronto Morisset, Warners Bay, Glendale, Swansea and Mount Hutton.

The Glendale Transport Interchange and the Lake Macquarie Waste Strategy will be funded.

Financial

Council will continue to experience a small operating deficit until 2016/17, with a surplus of up to $7M in 2018/19 projected. Option 3 addresses the $67M infrastructure backlog with roads ($30M backlog) improved and funding for future drainage renewals are provided.

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