GREATER Bendigo councillors have voted to adopt the 2019/2020 budget after considering submissions from the community.
Council received 40 submissions and a Committee of Council heard 13 verbal submissions during the public exhibition period for the proposed budget.
Mayor Margaret O’Rourke said the community consultation process was very productive.
“Councillors carefully considered all of the submissions and we would like to thank all of those in the community who contributed to the process,” Cr O’Rourke said.
Changes to the proposed budget during the consultation period include allocating $70,000 funding for repairs to the O’Keefe Rail Trail; additional funding of up to $150,000 for recycling services to continue waste diversion from landfill programs; and funding of $130,000 to progress upgrades to the Redesdale Community Hub, which includes a $40,000 contribution from the Redesdale community.
The back to basics budget will invest $42.9 million across the municipality on critical infrastructure and a number of key projects include the completion of the Garden Gully Hockey Pavilion ($2m), an early years hub at Huntly Early Learning Centre ($1.9m),
Ewing Park redevelopment ($1.6m), an Epsom Skate Park ($310,000) and a safe cycling lane between the city and La Trobe University ($300,000).
Work in rural areas include sealing the Heathcote-Costerfield Road ($110,000) and O’Brien’s Lane ($1m) in Longlea, a new dog park in Heathcote ($85,000) and construction of the West Marong main drain ($370,000).
Also included in the capital program is $15.6m for sealed and unsealed roads as well as $3.1m on footpaths/shared pathways.
Significant road projects include the $1m Lockington Road and $1.6m Patas Road improvements. The program is supported by $1.8m of Commonwealth Roads to Recovery funding.
Total drainage projects will see a $3.8m investment, which includes $600,000 Ritchies dam works and $572,000 Calder Highway works.
The budget also allocates $2.7m funding for public furniture and fittings, including seat installations at Garden for the Future, as well as lighting upgrades at Weeroona Oval, Canterbury Oval and
La Trobe University Bendigo Athletics Complex.
Landfills at Eaglehawk, White Hills and Wolstencroft will benefit from an investment of $3.4m for rehabilitation works.