Sunday, June 28, 2015

Council budget 2015-16



Derwent Valley Council Strikes Rates for 2015-2016  Financial Year

Derwent Valley Council met on Thursday evening  and has approved a rate increase for the 2015/16 financial year at 4%.

“Discussions around rates this year were were particularly hard”, Mayor Martyn Evans said.

“Council has to balance the needs and aspirations of the community against the community’s ability to sustain a rate increase.  This combined with changes to funding through the Financial Assistance Grants and other changes have had an impact on Council’s finances.

Major items funded in the budget include:
  • Improvements to the amenities at the New Norfolk and Bushy Park Pools;
  • Community safety measures at Tynwald Park;
  • Outdoor gym equipment will be installed at Gleeson Park;
  • Works will be undertaken at the top end of Blair Street;
  • Installation of a footpath on Lachlan Road, near the shop, and;
  • Implementation of Council’s STEPS Plan.
“The STEPS Plan will form the basis of Council’s strategies for improvements around the municipal area over the coming years.  We have been working on this document, with input from focus groups and the public for the last 18 months, and are now at a stage where we will be starting to implement some of the recommendations.”

“There are a number of smaller projects that Council contributes to such as the CWA Water Awareness Program, partnership in the Tree2Sea Project and support for Council’s Special Committees that work on specific projects,” Martyn Evans said.

A rate increase of 4% equals approximately $50 per year for most properties.  This financial year will also see adjustment in property values due to the Valuer-General’s two yearly adjustment factor.  This takes into account the changes in property values for this coming year.

“Council continues to look at innovative ways of resource sharing to ensure that rate increases are kept to a minimum. 

“This year Council has undertaken an arrangement with Brighton Council to accept refuse from their municipal area, the fee for this will off set the running and environmental costs associated with the Peppermint Hill Refuse area.  This will provide a long term saving to ratepayers in the Derwent Valley,” said Martyn Evans.

Monday, June 15, 2015

See you at Lachlan

THIS month's meeting of the Derwent Valley Council will be held at the Lachlan Community Hall this Thursday. A community forum will be held at 6.30pm, providing an informal opportunity for residents and ratepayers to ask questions or raise matters of concern.

The council meeting will follow at 7pm. The agenda can be downloaded here. Please join us - and if you would like any assistance or information about the meeting, please do get in touch.

The council meeting roster for the rest of the year is as follows:
  • 18 June 2015 - Lachlan Hall 7pm (community forum 6.30pm)
  • 16 July 2015 - New Norfolk Courthouse 6.30pm
  • 20 August 2015 - New Norfolk Courthouse 6.30pm
  • 17 September 2015 - New Norfolk Courthouse 6.30pm
  • 15 October 2015 - Maydena School Hall 7pm (community forum 6.30pm)
  • 19 November 2015 - New Norfolk Courthouse 6.30pm
  • (Monday) 14 December 2015 - New Norfolk Courthouse 6.30pm

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

National assessment for Wilow Court


The Derwent Valley Council welcomes the announcement that the Willow Court Barracks Precinct and Frescati House at New Norfolk are to be assessed by the Australian Heritage Council for possible inclusion in the National Heritage List.

Mayor Martyn Evans said that two of the buildings in the precinct were older than those at Port Arthur and were deserving of national recognition. The main building at Willow Court was built as an invalid barracks in 1830, designed by the convict architect John Lee Archer. Nearby Frescati House was built for Colonial Secretary John Burnett in 1834 at a time when the colonial governors favoured New Norfolk as their summer retreat. Both became part of a much larger hospital site that closed in 2000-01.

"The entire site has local and state heritage listing as well as being included on the Register of the National Estate which was the highest standard prior to the establishing of the National Heritage List," Councillor Evans said. "With only 124 places included on the list as it stands, we know it will be a rigorous assessment process but the council has no doubt about the national significance of Willow Court both as a convict site and for the story it tells about developments in the understanding and treatment of mental health and intellectual disability over a period of 170 years," Cr Evans said.

"Council understands that the assessment process may take as long as two years but we will not be sitting on our hands in the meantime," Cr Evans said. "Having recently expended more than $1.5 million on urgent conservation works at the Barracks and Bronte House, the council is exploring all options to continue that work. With our own funds exhausted, we are about to embark on a world-wide expression of interest process," he said.

Mayor Evans said the council was deeply appreciative of the interest shown by the Federal Minister for the Environment, the Hon Greg Hunt MP, and the Federal Member for Lyons, Eric Hutchinson MP, as well as State Cabinet members who visited the site last month. "Council sees the sensitive development of the Willow Court site as one of the keys to the future prosperity of the Derwent Valley. Our ultimate goal is to see Willow Court take its rightful place among the 11 other Australian Convict Sites on the World Heritage List," Mayor Evans concluded.