ANY unused funds from a $25 million Ballarat City Council capital works loan will be spent on the earmarked projects, according to chief executive officer Anthony Schinck.
Mr Schinck said on Friday the loan – allocated in the 2013-14 budget – was taken out last December due to lower borrowing costs.
He said the loan’s $8 million component for initial Civic Hall works would also be quarantined until needed.
“All unexpended funds will be carried forward into future budgets until fully expended on the nominated projects,” he said.
Speaking on the council’s 2014-15 draft budget, Mr Schinck also said a proposed annual garbage collection fee rise to $229 was prompted by service delivery costs.
“The cost of this service has continuously increased in excess of CPI, principally due to the cost of running the regional landfill.
“The operational costs of the landfill increased greatly following changes to the EPA legislation and subsequent EPA levies that landfill operators are required to
He also said the council’s reliance on rate revenue to fund all services and the capital works program was set to rise over the three year period to 2017-18.
Mr Schinck said this would mainly be caused by the community’s expectation of increased service delivery, along with a decrease in government grants.
He said ongoing beautification works at the city’s five entrances and other major streets – including Sturt and Victoria streets – would involve underground irrigation, median grass and road reserve plantings.
“The 2014-15 draft budget is part of a long-term plan to improve infrastructure and services throughout the Ballarat municipality.
“The budget has been structured to increase funding into these essential services that the community expects.”