MAYOR Richie Williamson
MAYOR Richie Williamson Adam Hourigan

Council to unveil 10-year Valley plan

THE Clarence Valley will get a first look at the vision for its future Tuesday afternoon in Maclean.

Clarence Valley Council will take the wraps off six draft plans, including the 10-Year Community Plan, at an extraordinary meeting in the Maclean Council Chambers.

Mayor Richie Williamson said the community plan already had widespread exposure through the community consultation process in the past six months.

"This is the culmination of a lot of work from staff and councillors," Cr Williamson said.

"The signature plan is the 10-Year Community Plan with the underlying draft asset management plan, workforce management strategy, delivery program and long-term financial plan.

"To put in its simplest

form we'll outline our community plan for the future, how we're going to fund it, who's going to do the work in the workforce strategy and the exact value and state of everything the council owns."

Council will also consider a draft rates policy for 2014-15 today.

Cr Williamson said a key issue for next year's rates was factoring in an overall 12% fall in land values while increasing the rate take by the 2.3% rate pegging limit set by the State Government.

Council staff recommends council continue with the option of increasing Maclean and Townsend residents and businesses above the rate peg rate (5.66%), while keeping Grafton and South Grafton under the limit at 1.5%.

"I think we're talking about $30 and $17 overall increase in those cases," Cr Williamson said.

The report also asks councillors to vote on a proposal to radically change the rates structure to lift the base rate structure from the maximum allowed this year of $485 to about $730 from 2015.

Staff recommends the general manager prepare a report for the December 2014 council meeting on the development of a rating structure that will allow all ratepayers to contribute to the general administration, overheads and core services of the council. The report must show how to achieve this structure without imposing drastic rate increases on any category of ratepayer.

Cr Williamson said the proposed structure had come about because council had increased the number of core services it funds.

"There are things that benefit all ratepayers, like roads," he said. "This is an option we have to look at."

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