By Cam Lucadou-Wells
Greater Dandenong household rates will rise, on average, by the State Government rate-cap of 2.5 per cent according to the council’s 2019-20 draft budget.
For residents, the median rates and waste charge will be $1406 – up by $32.90. It includes an $8 rise in the State Government’s landfill levy.
The rise comes while median house values in Greater Dandenong fell by 5.5 per cent.
The budget’s $69 million capital works program devotes $22 million towards finishing the Springvale library and community hub by mid-2020.
It also delivers $5 million for the first stage of Greater Dandenong Gallery of Art in Mason Street, Dandenong, and $3.4 million for Ross Reserve’s upgrade and all-abilities playground.
Tatterson Park, Dandenong Park, Springvale Road Boulevard, Dandenong Market and Frederick Wachter Reserve get $1-million-plus upgrades.
The draft budget proposes $1 million for the design of Keysborough South Community Hub, and an $1.22 million upgrade of Chapel Road, Keysborough.
It funds feasibility studies into a new library for Noble Park/Keysborough, Dandenong Community Hub and a shared path from Yarraman-Dandenong.
At a council meeting on 23 April, corporate services director Mick Jaensch said individual rate rises will vary “quite wildly” from property to property – depending on valuations.
It means that home-owners face higher-than-average rate rises if their property fell in value by less than 5.5 per cent or indeed rose in value, Mr Jaensch said.
At the same time industrial and commercial rates will rise by an average 2.78 per cent and commercial rates by 1.65 per cent.
A council budget report described the looming challenge of replacing ageing roads, drains and buildings built in the 1960s and 1970s.
Rate capping will soon impact on the council’s future budgets, the report warned.
“The time is soon approaching where Council will either have to make significant changes to its operational services or accept that timelines for new projects will face longer term delays in order to be affordable for Council.”
Public submissions on the budget close at 5pm on Friday 24 May.