Armidale council needs to find $1m in savings

Armidale Dumaresq Deputy mayor Jenny Bailey

Armidale Dumaresq Deputy mayor Jenny Bailey

ARMIDALE Dumaresq rate- payers will be surveyed in the next 12 months in an effort to find almost $1 million in annual savings.

Community and frontline services, as well as grounds maintenance, face cuts so money can be found to maintain existing assets, such as the town hall, the aquatic centre, saleyards and cemetery.

Chief finance officer Keith Lockyer said while the council’s finances were satisfactory, it needed at least $1 million extra every year to pay for asset renewals.

At council’s meeting on Monday, the operational plan for the next financial year was adopted unanimously, with councillors also agreeing to survey ratepayers on what services should be cut to help meet asset needs.

Deputy mayor Jenny Bailey said some hard decisions would have to made in the next year, perhaps even a reduction in the mowing of public areas.

Some savings have already been made, such as the council’s annual wages bill, and the plant and equipment budget has also been drastically cut.

Cr Bailey said the sale of some small pockets of surplus land may also be on the cards.

The draft operational plan is on public exhibition until 5pm on Tuesday, June 24.

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