Budget a win for some residents

Budget a win for some residents

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Harrisdale, Piara Waters and Champion Lakes residents will get a reduction in their specified area rate (SAR) charge on their rates notice after Armadale councillors passed their 2016-17 budget on Monday night.

Councillors also agreed on a three per cent rate increase, it’s lowest in recent years.

The reduction of the SAR will mean an average rates bill reduction of $95 for 3607 Harrisdale and Piara Waters properties.

The city will also collect about $10,000 less in SAR charges from Champion Lakes residents.

The reduction comes after years of community backlash over high rate charges and recent threats from Harrisdale and Piara Waters residents to secede from Armadale if the city didn’t take their concerns seriously.

Armadale mayor Henry Zelones said the three per cent increase was below the metro average and he was happy with the changes to the SAR.

“My personal belief is yes we do need to do more but some of it is not entirely in our control and we’re working with other groups to do something about that,” he said.

He said there was major work to do with rates next year as the valuer general revalues land prices for 2017 – the base figure for how rates are calculated.

“The big issue coming up for next year will be the revaluations which could be dramatic change in those valuations and how that plays out in terms of what the future impact will be,” he said.

“We’re probably going to be working on that starting earlier this year than we did last year.”

Mr Zelones said there were some exciting projects coming up like the Piara Waters south community and sport facility, which received an additional $4.6 million in the budget and the Armadale hall rejuvenation, which received $3.1 million.

Designs for the Armadale Aquatic Centre will also get underway with $1 million set aside.
The duplication of Nicholson Road will continue with $5.5 million while $1.2 million has been set aside for new roads in Forrestdale.

Eighth Road will be duplicated from Armadale Road to Forrest Road for $2 million and Railway Avenue from Lowanna Way to Gillam Drive will receive $343,000 for upgrades.

The city will continue its urban forest strategy with $355,000 to increase the urban tree canopy.