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    Cr John Robinson.

Horsham city adopts budget in split vote

Horsham Rural City Council has formally adopted its 2020-21 budget after debate and a split vote at a meeting on Monday night.

The council voted 3-2 in adopting the draft document, which includes an overall rate increase of two percent, but also a $484,000 business and community COVID-19 response package and a second round of a community grants program.

Cr John Robinson, who with Cr David Grimble voted against adopting the budget, indicated his intention to move to rescind the decision at the council’s next meeting on August 3.

Crs Robinson and Grimble argued that the council should have considered a zero percent rate rise.

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The council voted on the budget after a draft document was out for public comment for 10 weeks.

The council received 12 community submissions that led to changes to the original draft.

Horsham mayor Mark Radford said the council had developed the budget in extraordinary circumstances with a focus on community support and rebuilding the district economy when it was able to move from pandemic relief to recovery stages.

“We thank everyone who contributed, whether it was via a formal submission, completing a survey, dropping into the pop-up shop or commenting online,” he said. “We appreciate the effort people took.”

The council’s core services – roads and waste management – again received the lion’s share of the financial allocation. 

A capital works program includes $3.845-million for rural roads reconstruction and $1.876-million to rebuild urban roads. Waste management will cost the council $3.255-million.

Rural roads at Wail, Brimpaen and Jung will be subject to upgrades while major footpath and road works will occur in several streets in Horsham North.

The council has allocated funding for a lengthy list of projects including refurbishment of Wesley Performing Arts Centre – $545,000 funded by Wesley committee; a skate park upgrade – $164,000; and footpaths and cycle ways – $429,000.

A full list of works is available on a Horsham Community Map on the council’s website,

Based on community submissions, the council will also provide: $5000 to engage a speaker for a motivational workshop for Horsham community groups; $20,000 for inclusion in a COVID-19 support package for Business Horsham; and $70,000 to improve a river crossing at Walmer from Federal Local Roads and Community Infrastructure Program. 

The council is exploring an opportunity to further develop an Old Hamilton Road cycle track.

The entire July 29, 2020 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!

The entire July 29, 2020 edition of AgLife is available online. READ IT HERE!