School holidays are here and Hilltops is abuzz. The Hilltops libraries are offering special activities and Hilltops Youth Action Group (HYAG) has organised a number of events in Young, Harden and Boorowa.
The MADD Youth Show was a great success and I know that the Skate workshop is high on the agenda for many of our budding skateboarders.
With this beautiful autumn weather, people will be out and about, using the road network and taking advantage of the sporting fields, parks, playgrounds, and reserves – all part of the community assets that Hilltops Council manages.
As a community, we have a high expectation of maintenance and renewal of public assets and provision of services. Of keen importance to most of us is the maintenance of the road network which involves 1,236 km of sealed roads and 1503 kms of unsealed roads. Especially has this been a challenge with the extreme weather events of the last months which, we are warned, will become more frequent and intense.
Many of our infrastructure assets are aging and renewal and replacement costs are significant but Council revenue streams are limited. Hilltops is taking on the challenges of our financial sustainability, as resolved by Council in October 2021. Included is a review of the organisational structure, fees and charges and application for a Special Rate Variation (SRV).
A neighbouring Council has already applied for and received an SRV. Applications are assessed against specific criteria. These include undertaking long-term financial planning, ensuring community awareness of the need and extent of the proposed increase in rates and consideration of the impact on ratepayers and the community’s capacity and willingness to pay.
This is a conversation for tomorrow as we work through the options to improve our financial position and deliver the type and level of service our community expects.
For today, enjoy the Easter break with family and friends and take advantage of all that our beautiful Hilltops has to offer as we learn from the past, deal with the present and plan for the future.
Mayor Margaret Roles
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