STRUGGLE TO SURPLUS: SDRC goes from estimated $700K+ deficit to a potential $70K surplus. Picture: file
STRUGGLE TO SURPLUS: SDRC goes from estimated $700K+ deficit to a potential $70K surplus. Picture: file

BACK IN BLACK: Council credits rates rise for budget success

Southern Downs Regional Council has credited a dramatic change from an estimated $700,000 budget deficit to a $70,000 to the recent rates increase.

The council's second quarterly budget review was tabled in last week's ordinary meeting, revealing the huge swing in the 2020/21 forecast.

Mayor Vic Pennisi attributed much of the ground made up to last year's council decision to undo the rates payments frozen in an emergency COVID-19 measure.

The move will result in a total 1.9 per cent increase for ratepayers by the end of June.

"For this coming six months, the concession has been removed and consequently the numbers have changed," Cr Pennisi said.

"Aside from that, we've found some savings on the operational side of the budget that have kicked in.

"(We're also receiving) some money to restore some of the banks on the Condamine, and all of that added together means that we're showing a surplus of $70 odd-thousand."

Additional budget rearrangements will see community equity decrease by $2.2 million and a further $3.4 million reduction in operational spending.

Several sewer upgrade projects and the refurbishment of the Kenilworth reservoir were cut entirely from the capital works budget.

The council agenda also noted the estimated financial position was "likely to change" due to the additional strain caused by a raft of COVID-19 measures in June last year.

SDRC's full coronavirus funding packages have so far totalled about $1.4 million.

The hefty price tag included the $530,000 six-month rates remission, Stage 1 COVID-19 measures worth $563,000, and a further $325,000 in direct costs.

 

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