Council Meeting Update
An overview of discussions from the most recent Council meeting.
This summary, provided by the CEO, is an overview of the discussions that took place at the 18 April 2017 Council meeting.
In summary, the key decisions from the meeting were:
Proposed Introduction of Differential Rating – Community Engagement Outcomes - Council has been considering the introduction of differential rating as a way of increasing the total funds available to deliver all the programs, services and infrastructure upgrades whilst maintaining a sustainably financial future with projected rate increases over the next 10 years of LGPI. Following extensive consultation with the Community and, in particular, the ratepayers mostly affected Council resolved not to introduce differential rating.
2017/2018 Long Term Financial Plan - After making a decision to not introduce differential rating, Council was in a position to adopt a LTFP (Long Term Financial Plan) which would be the basis for developing the 2017/18 Annual Business Plan and Budget. Council resolved to adopt Option 1 (ie proposed rate increase of LGPI plus 1%) as the preferred option of the LTFP as it ensures that Council will be able to continue its projected LGPI rate increases over the next 10 years whilst continuing to be financial sustainable. To achieve this outcome in light of the continual cost shifting by the State Government (eg Solid Waste Levy, eplanning and transfer to Community Housing Providers) and significant increases in electricity is a testament to the wonderful work Staff have been doing to drive efficiencies within our organisation.
Draft 2017/2018 Budget – Capital-Renewal & Replacement - As part of developing the Budget, Elected Members considered a number of projects that were drawn from Council's Infrastructure Asset Management Plans or Asset Register for inclusion in the draft 2017/18 Annual Business Plan & Budget. Council resolved to include the following Capital-Renewal and Replacement items for the purpose of public consultation with a net cost:
- Reservoir Road Reserve Playground - $45,500
- Replacement of Executive Vehicles - $113,600
- Replacement of Plant & Machinery - $70,400
- Library Stock Purchases (unsubsidised) - $39,500
- Bus Shelter Upgrade - $200,000
- Electronic Document Records Management System Replacement - $152,350
- Thorndon Park - Car Park - $750,000
- Thorndon Park - Footpath Upgrade - $150,000
- RTLP Share Path Upgrade - Stage 4 - $324,500
- Magill Senior Citizens Hall - Internal Lighting Upgrade - $28,000
- Hectorville Community Centre - Air Conditioning Replacement - $25,000
- Hectorville Community Centre - Table & Chair Replacement - $15,000
- Foxfield Oval Hall - Table & Chair Replacement - $2,500
- Campbelltown Library - Internal & External Painting - $30,000
- Marchant Centre - External Painting - $15,000
- Athelstone Community Hall - Floor Replacement - $25,000
- Campbelltown Function Centre - Painting & Commercial TVs - $35,000
- Council Administration Building - Internal & External Painting - $25,000
- Library Materials Grant & Purchases - $0
- Road Renewal Program - $2,015,050
- Campbelltown Memorial Oval Redevelopment (R&R) - $1,850,000
- Bridge Replacement - $25,000
Draft 2017/2018 Budget - As part of the Budget preparation Council considered a number of Staff reports regarding new projects and initiatives. Following careful consideration and undergoing a ranking system Council resolved to include the following items in the draft 2017/18 Annual Business Plan & Budget:
1. Capital-New projects with a net cost to Council:
- Flood Damage Repairs – Stage 2 - $190,000
- Footpath Construction – New - $571,000
- Black Spot Funding – Jury & Maple Avenue, Rostrevor - $47,000
- ARC Campbelltown – Solar PV System - $655,000
- School Traffic Improvements – East Marden Primary School - $265,000
- School Traffic Improvements – Thorndon Park Primary School - $20,000
- Melville Grove Reserve Improvements – Stage 1 - $72,000
- Melville Grove Reserve Improvement – Stage 2 - $72,000
- Thorndon Park – Miniature Train - $135,000
- Grandview Grove Reserve Expansion & Improvement - $120,000
- Reservoir Road Reserve Playground (New) - $2,500.
- Drinking Fountains - $10,000
- Biodiversity Park - $30,000.
2. Capital-New Master Plan Allocation projects with net cost to Council:
- Campbelltown Memorial Oval Redevelopment (New) - $2,910,000
- Magill Village – Detailed Design Works - $50,000
- Lochend House Landscaping - Stage 1 - $225,000.
3. New Initiative projects with a net cost to Council:
- Additional Employee Hours – Online Communications Officer (0.3 FTE increase) - $18,900
- Additional Employee Hours – Technical Officer (0.3 FTE increase) - $10,300
- Additional Employee Hours – Graphic Designer (0.4 FTE increase) - $30,000
- Sesquicentennial Community Event $150,000
- Jan Street Activation - $5,000
- Economic Development Initiatives - $50,000
- A Fruitful History – Oral History Market Garden Project - $14,500
- Tasting Australia Event - $20,000
- Historical Panels - $20,000.
Although included in the draft Budget they will now undergo an extensive consultation process with the local Community to assess whether there is Community support for their inclusion.
Joint Planning Arrangement Pilot Project - The State Government has initiated a major Planning Reform process which ultimately will change the way Development will occur in the future. The ERA Councils believe it's important to take a lead in this reform and shape the future as much as possible and therefore Council endorsed ERA submitting an expression of interest to participate in the Joint Planning Arrangements Pilot Project being run by the Department of Planning, Transport and Infrastructure. The intention is that ERA will commit funding to the Pilot Project from the membership fees each Council pays, with in-kind support to be provided by Council Staff.
Nuisance and Litter Act 2016 - The introduction of this legislation is likely to have a significant impact on Staff resources going forward. Therefore to alleviate the potential increase in workload and avoid duplication of services across the region, Council will request EHA (the Eastern Health Authority) to consider undertaking the compliance actions on behalf of Council and the other constituent Councils, in respect to the following ‘nuisance’ aspects contained in the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016:
b) odour (and other airborne 'nuisance')
d) smoke (except where it relates to the operations of Fire Prevention Officers), and
e) any other specific aspect that the Administration believes would be better managed by the EHA.
Council has requested that EHA provide Council with an indication of the cost associated with undertaking the ‘nuisance’ aspects contained in the Local Nuisance and Litter Control Act 2016. Following receipt of their costings a further report will be prepared for Council to consider prior to making a decision on whether to proceed with this option.
Planning Portal Costs - As part of the State Government's Planning Reform, they have introduced the Planning Portal and advised that it will cost Council at least $36,000/year. Although not supportive of yet another cost shifting exercise from the Government, Council will include $36,000 as its contribution toward the establishment and maintenance of the SA Planning Portal as required by Section 56(2) of the Planning Development and Infrastructure Act 2016 when formulating the draft 2017/2018 Annual Business Plan and Budget.
Dog Registration Fees - The State Government has resolved not to set a cap on Dog Registrations this year and allow each Council to determine an appropriate fee. Following careful consideration of the requirements of the Dog and Cat Management Act and its associated costs, Council resolved not to increase the registration fees at this time and set its annual registration fee for 2017/2018 at $70.00 for a Non Standard Dog. Furthermore Staff will provide the Dog and Cat Management Board with a draft budget demonstrating how the funding is to be used.
LGA Consultation – Local Government (Elections) Act - The LGA is seeking comments from Councils on whether they support it becoming a requirement that information on Elected Members who are elected unopposed be sent to all electors. In considering this proposal Council supported the option to notify electors through the use of Council's website and social media outlets to minimise the cost and resource implications.
LGA Consultation – Local Government (Elections) Act - Council were given the opportunity to provide feedback on whether optional preferential voting should be established for the 2018 Local Government General Elections. The main change associated with this proposal is that electors would be able to only vote for one candidate rather than having to vote for a number of candidates equal to the number of vacancies.
Council resolved that it will advise the LGA that given the limited information it has been provided about this topic and until a research/discussion paper is provided by ECSA (the Electoral Commission of South Australia) or the LGA, it is not appropriate for Council to make such an important decision as to providing support for one system of voting over another. Furthermore Council recommended that the existing voting system remain in place for the 2018 Local Government General Election and that this matter be reconsidered and more thoroughly researched after the 2018 General Elections have been held.
LGA Membership Subscription Review - The LGA proposed a number of subscription methodologies for Council to consider. Following a comprehensive review of the options, Council supported Option 5 which is a new option of one equal flat charge for all Councils, with the removal of the existing cap in favour of a declining block rate based on Council's population and revenue.
LGA Ordinary General Meeting items for Consideration - The Ordinary General Meeting of the LGA is being held on Friday. Staff have reviewed the Agenda and provided their comments to guide Council in its deliberations. Council generally supported Staff recommendations on voting at the LGA Ordinary General Meeting on 21 April 2017 however will provide Council’s voting delegate, Mayor Brewer (or nominee), the opportunity to consider the discussion at the meeting prior to casting their vote.