Income gathered by the City of Ballarat for parking fees, fines and charges jumped by almost $900,000 in the past financial year, its annual report shows.
In total, parking fees, fines and charges rose from $6.038 million in the previous financial year to 6.937 million.
It was the largest earner for the council in user fees, which pulled in $24.9 million worth of income in that time.
The other main sources of user fee funds were the Ballarat Aquatic and Lifestyle Centre, which provided $4.43 million, and landfill operations, where fees increased by $902,000 to $4.45 million.
By far the biggest contribution to the council's budget in the last financial year came from rates and charges, amounting to $116.9 million.
There was also $42.6 million gained from new property, infrastructure, plant and equipment assets, significantly over budget forecasts. This was explained by increased development in the city, with "a much higher level of donated developer assets". The report states that these were worth $38.61 million of contributions in that financial year.
Around $39.5 million in operating and capital grants came from both federal and state governments.
How the budget was spent
The largest slice of the budget was spent on materials and services, with $65.40 million recorded last year. Employee costs rose to $62.393 million from $59.731 million the previous year.
The key management team - comprising the CEO, directors and councillors - accounted for a $1.56 million slice of those costs, including salaries and benefits. The highest remuneration - that of CEO Justine Linley - was in the income range $320,000-$329,000, while eight councillors took an allowance of $33,490.74, the mayor received $106,973, and the five directors earned from $220,000 to $279,999 in total remuneration.
We've delivered a lot of projects within the municipality and we've reduced debt ahead of time. We're well within the parameters of our long-term strategy.Glenn Kallio, City of Ballarat director of business services
This is in line with other similar councils, a City of Ballarat statement issued earlier this week said.
Funds spent on senior officer pay also increased with 24 other people - in addition to the key management team - registering a total remuneration ranging from $148,000 to $239,999.
They accounted for a total of $4.061 million worth of employee costs, up from $3.144 million the previous year.
Overall, the amount of capital works expenditure came to $61.912 million, substantially less than budgeted, with works deferred. For example, $10 million earmarked for a proposed Waste to Energy plant was not spent, with council putting the plan on hold until the state government releases its circular economy policy.
Following the release of the report, the City of Ballarat's director of business services Glenn Kallio described the council's finances as "robust".
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"We've delivered a lot of projects within the municipality and we've reduced debt ahead of time," he said. "We're well within the parameters of our long-term strategy."
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