Richmond Valley residents will be slugged with increased rates as the council attempts to deliver budget surpluses over the next four years.
The council’s 2013-2017 delivery program and 2015-2016 operational plan are now on display for public comment.
Also on display are the council’s 2015-2019 financial estimates, revenue policy and 10-year long term financial plan.
The documents detail how the council will deliver on the community’s vision as set out in the Community Strategic Plan – Richmond Valley Towards 2025.
In its draft financial estimates for 2015-2016, the council has forecast a surplus of $310,409.
General rates will increase by 5.5 per cent, water charges by 4.9 per cent and sewerage charges by 2.4 per cent.
The council also aims to make two per cent savings in salaries.
General manager John Walker said the council was well placed to tackle challenges that might lay ahead
Mr Walker said the delivery program included key initiatives to improve the Richmond Valley area for all residents.
They include upgrades at the Northern Rivers Livestock Exchange, a new pavilion at Queen Elizabeth Park, an amphitheatre on the river front and a new men’s shed at Casino showgrounds.
A skate park will be built at Crawford Park, $4.8 million will be spent on roads and transport, $4.1 million on sewerage upgrades and $1.4 million on water supply upgrades.
The council will also upgrade the Evans Head administration office and library.
Mr Walker said the government’s Fit for the Future program meant more action was needed to ensure the council continued to deliver financial savings.
‘There is no one silver bullet,” he said.
‘To be Fit for the Future, council must make sure it builds on the foundation it has already laid and adheres to the improvement program it has embarked upon,’ he said.