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Good Budget Result in Council's Sights

Posted Thursday 26 June 2014

Earlier this month Council adopted its Budget for the 2014-15 financial year. The Budget forms part of the 2014-15 Operational Plan and longer range 2013-2017 Delivery Program. Council’s projected end-of-year result for 2014-2015 is an operating deficit of $474,919 – representing a further improvement on the projected year end result for 2013-14 and a significant turnaround on the operating deficits of $5.8 million and $2.9 million in 2010-11 and 2011-12 respectively.

This latest budget provides for the maintenance of all existing service levels to the community and reflects an ongoing commitment to achieving a balanced budget position within the next 12-18 months.

“A balanced operating budget is fundamental to managerial and financial efficiency and to enable capital grants and loans to be allocated properly to capital improvements. I am pleased to say that we are well on our way to turning around our inherited deficits and to achieving a balanced operating budget” Mayor Peter Abelson said. “We will be looking closely at some of our services over the next two years to see exactly where further efficiencies may lie and whether the level of service we are delivering is in keeping with community expectations. We have already listened to community views on key issues including traffic, parking, compliance and communication and have devoted resources to making improvements in these areas.”

The 2014-15 Budget also makes provision for road, footpath, carpark and drainage works totalling more than $2.57 million and over $1.8 million in building, foreshore and open space works. Facility upgrades are planned for the Mosman Seniors Centre and the Mosman Library foyer. Council has also allocated funds to address priority recommendations in the soon-to-be completed Access Strategy as well as the Pedestrian Access Mobility Plan.

Upgrades are planned for a number of pedestrian crossings and refuges in Military Road, and funds have been provided for recreational improvements including fitness equipment at Spit West Reserve, upgrade of the Balmoral playground, lighting at Middle Head Oval and provision of an accessible pathway in Rosherville Reserve. Existing maintenance standards at all parks and foreshore areas will continue.

Improvements are also planned for public spaces in and around the Spofforth Street shopping precinct, with additional funding allocated for improved tree and paving maintenance for Military Road.

Funds have also been provided to progress a new Parking Strategy for Mosman and needs assessment for the Civic Centre site, and grant funding from Roads and Maritime Services will enable construction of traffic calming works in Beauty Point. Funding is also available to undertake a review of the Balmoral Reserves Plan of Management.

The 2014-15 Budget also provides a number of cycleway improvements in streets including Middle Head Road and Avenue Road, together with improvements to Council’s Customer Service Foyer to deliver a better customer experience.

Behind the scenes, funding has been provided to improve and upgrade Council’s information technology, as well as other resources for more effective community engagement and regulation.