COLAC Otway Shire mayor Stephen Hart says he expects ratepayers could be unhappy with a proposed 6.3-per-cent rate rise.
Civic leaders will discuss the council’s draft budget for 2012-13 at a special meeting today, with the average Colac rate bill increasing from $722 to $772.
Rates for Colac district farms would rise from an average $1888 to $1979.
The budget forecasts an average rates and charges jump of $94, or $1.80 a week.
Cr Hart said the 6.33-per-cent rate rise was “very high”.
“And I understand people would be unhappy with such a high rate increase,” he said.
“On the other side of the coin, there’s been a revaluation so the rate rise will depend on which area you live in.
“If your property’s gone much higher than others, your rate will be much higher.”
Cr Hart said the draft document showed a record high capital works budget of nearly $16 million for projects such as upgrading Bluewater Fitness Centre and fixing bridges.
“In the current financial year we’re able to put, with various State Government grants, over a million dollars into local bridges,” he said.
“Next financial year we’re putting another $1.3 million into local bridges.”
Cr Hart said the council would pay about $3.6 million to meet stricter Environment Protection Authority requirements for rehabilitating former rubbish tips.
“They’ve now been required to be rehabilitated at a much higher and costlier standard than was originally required,” he said.
Rate bills will also have a municipal charge of $149, up by $2, and curb-side rubbish charge of $277, up by $3, for weekly collections and $186 for fortnightly collections.
Cr Hart encouraged Colac residents to continue recycling to keep waste charge down.
“The cost to council is less if people recycle more,” he said.
But Cr Hart said fees would increase for people who used a drop-off rubbish service, including residents at Beech Forest, Carlisle River, Gellibrand and Lavers Hill.
“The tickets for that service are $97 for 25 tickets; the budget proposes a 50-per-cent-plus increase to $150,” he said.
“That’ll make it very costly for some ratepayers.
“My understanding is the council is trying to turn a service which is partly funded by rates into a service that’s 100-per-cent funded by user fees.”
Councillors’ draft budget meeting is at 4pm at Colac Otway Performing Arts and Cultural Centre.
The council will vote on its final budget on June 27.