FEDERATION Council is entering the final year where residents in the former Corowa and Urana shire areas pay varying amounts in rates with plans afoot to implement one rating system for the entire local government area.
Rates will rise by 2.7 per cent in line with rate cap with the proposed rate return for 2019-20 being more than $8 million with the bulk coming in the former Corowa Shire area of $6,246,012 and the former Urana Shire area making up the balance of $1,760,751.
Under the terms of the merger agreement, the NSW Government agreed to keep approved rate income levels in place for two years with 2019-20 being the final one.
The council's draft budget includes funding for a "rates harmonisation" project to come up with one rating system.
Presently the biggest rates disparity is in the residential rate yield in the former Corowa Shire of $3,563,347 from 5545 assessments compared to $132,636 from 558 assessments in the former Urana Shire.
Farmland rate income is comparable with a yield of $1,981,190 from 634 assessments in the former Corowa Shire compared to $1,575,209 from 507 assessments in Urana.
The council also proposes a $37 million capital works program in 2019-20.
It includes $1.3 million for the Howlong multi-purpose hall, $934,940 for the Urana Aquatic Leisure Centre, $150,000 for repairs at the Ball Park caravan park in Corowa, $1.5 million for the Howlong industrial estate, $479,038 for the Bangerang playground in Corowa, $808,939 for the Mulwala all abilities playground and foreshore upgrade, $3.3 million Corowa to Mulwala trail and $500,000 for upgrades at Corowa saleyards and the town's airport runway.
The Howlong hall project spearheaded by the football club and council attracted $1 million from the state government with a recent survey backing plans for an additional $170,000 be used from Howlong town improvements fund.
The council also agreed to to allocate $197,715 of interest raised from merger funding.
The football club is also lobbying the AFL and other entities to come up with the balance of $1.5 million to complete the project.
"There are again many projects that council will continue to deliver and services that will be provided," Federation mayor Pat Bourke said.
"Council has an enormous asset base in comparison to its population, and the addition of the significant state government funding since the formation of Federation Council, provides wonderful new community assets in many cases.
"However these all need to be maintained and replaced over time, and there will be significant challenges in managing this under council's current revenue streams."
It has received more than $20 million for merger related activities including an initial tranche of $9 million to support major projects in 2016 with a further $5.3 million allocated late last year.
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.