Council rates likely to increase

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Karen McKeown

Will you pay just over $1 per week to increase Council’s services in your area?

Residents could see their rates increase an extra $55 in the next financial year, if Council adopts a Special Rate Variation (SRV) of 2.4 per cent.

Penrith Mayor Karen McKeown has launched a campaign to extend the current Asset Renewal and Established Areas Strategy (AREAS) and add the extra SRV.

“AREAS enabled us to do more than just the bare minimum with many of our roads and buildings, and has paid off in the long run by avoiding major repairs and upgrades,” she said.

“It also enabled us to respond to calls from our community for more money to be spent in our older suburbs through more investment in public spaces, neighbourhood and social programs to support residents and increased focus on litter and graffiti removal.”

The 10 year AREAS rate variation was introduced in 2006 with community support, and will finish in 2016.

Cr McKeown said continuing AREAS is essential both economically and socially, and an additional SRV will ensure self-sufficiency into the future.

With both the continuation of AREAS and the extra 2.4 per cent SRV, residents could pay an extra $250 in rates over the next four years.

Of that, $117.40 will fund initiatives under the SRV and $132.60 will go toward the AREAS rate peg.

Other options include continuing AREAS without the SRV at an extra $127.60 over four years, or not adopting either of the two proposals.

Council is requesting feedback from the community on the proposed changes, and more information can be found at www.yoursaypenrith.com.au.

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