Maribyrnong municipal charge reviewed in budget

Maribyrnong council aims to raise $100,776,958 by general rates and municipal charges. 223570_01

Goya Dmytryshchak

Maribyrnong council has released its draft 2021-22 budget, which includes an average 1.5 per cent rate rise, a review of the municipal charge and endorses a proposal to borrow $10 million for the Footscray Town Hall redevelopment.

The council intends to raise $100,776,958 by general rates and municipal charges, according to budget papers.

Councillor Jorge Jorquera told last week’s council meeting he would like to maintain the municipal charge at $20 rather than raise it to $30 as proposed.

Deputy mayor Anthony Tran said he would like to see modelling ranging from $20 to $100 in municipal charges.

“Can we go from $20 to maybe $100 so our residents can really see the effects of municipal charges, especially when going from lower ratepayers to the higher,” he said.

Councillors resolved that chief executive Stephen Wall provide further modelling of the implications of amending the municipal charge.

The draft budget proposes to increase the cost of the garbage and recycling collection service from $179.75 to $198.

Three bins, including a food and garden waste waste bin, would be $246.

The council also plans to increase the pensioner rebate by $3 to $201.30.

As reported by Star Weekly in February, Footscray Town Hall will undergo a redevelopment costing up to $30 million.

The town hall was originally built in 1936 as the municipal offices, courthouse and post office, with the main council building extended over several stages with the last construction works completed in 1984.

The council said changes to legislation and building code standards, coupled with growth within its organisation, had rendered the heritage structure no longer fit for purpose.

The draft budget is out for public consultation with the final budget due to be adopted at the council meeting of June 15.