STRATHBOGIE Shire residents will find some relief in this year’s budget, with a rate increase of 5.5 per cent, the lowest in the last four years.
After more than two months of debate and deliberation, the Strathbogie Shire councillors decided last week on a 5.5 per cent rate rise, instead of the initial seven per cent suggested in the 2014-15 draft budget.
The councillors engaged in heavy debate before deciding on a recommendation by Alister Purbrick, who was supported by councillors (Mayor) Deb Swan, Colleen Furlanetto and Patrick Storer.
Council was happy to pass on the rate relief to residents after making a few structural changes to the organisation, which included staff redundancies.
Shire chief executive officer Steve Crawcour said council has reduced staff numbers by six estimated full time positions.
“In addition to this as part of the restructuring there has been approximately $700,000 in ongoing savings,” he said.