Wangaratta budget: Old Yarrunga pool filled in, so dogs can roam free

An off-leash dog park is set to replace the old Yarrunga pool in Wangaratta.

The former pool site has remained empty since swimming facilities were controversially demolished more than 12 months ago.

Wangaratta Council had embarked on a community consultation process to find the best idea for a replacement.

The draft 2017-18 budget has revealed $82,700 is set to be spent on creating the park.

It will form part of a $28.7 million capital works program for the financial year, which included $14.6 million in projects that could not be completed in 2016-17 due to other issues such as flood repairs taking priority.

The biggest project was $6 million to continue developing a 50-metre outdoor pool and hydrotherapy pool – the council was still hopeful of an extra $4 million federal government grant to complete its aquatic plan.

Other items in the budget included $2.2 million to complete an organic waste processing facility, $3.1 million for works in the central business district and $5 million to be spent on road upgrades.

The council had saved money on staff costs from the last financial year including  $1.8 million from a “restructure” that involved voluntary redundancies and another $1 million through negotiating staff contracts.

Wangaratta residents will not have to pay more than the 2 per cent rate increase, in line with the Victorian government’s rate cap.

The draft budget also had a surplus of $7.3 million.

In the executive summary, chief executive Brendan McGrath said the council worked hard to be financially responsible. 

“Council’s long-term financial sustainability will help deliver on the needs, aspiration and priorities of our community,” he said.

The draft budget will be considered at Tuesday Wangaratta Council meeting, held at Glenrowan Soldiers Memorial Hall from 6pm.