The biggest budget to date has been given the green light by Hills Shire Councillors, with a record $268 million forecast to be spent by Council in the 2016/2017 financial year.
Hills Shire Mayor Dr Michelle Byrne said that Council was in the strongest financial position it has been in throughout its history and that The Hills was prepared for the probable formation of a new council with Hawkesbury City.
“The Hills is in a strong position, is debt free and performing well on every financial indicator,” Mayor Byrne said.
“This puts us in the enviable position of being able to allocate $268 million providing a range of services and upgrading, maintaining and building new infrastructure.”
“We want our residents to be able to move around the Shire with ease so we are spending millions on improving infrastructure. $18.2 million will be spent on road rehabilitation and renewal, $26.1 million on infrastructure asset maintenance, $16.9 million to relieve congestion on traffic facilities, $1.1 million upgrading Ridgecrop Drive, $1.1 million upgrading Seven Hills Road and $2.5 million on building footpaths and cycleways.”
Mayor Byrne said another major spend in the budget was the $73 million set aside to acquire land for sporting fields, open space and public recreation.
“Our residents value their open space, parks and sporting fields very dearly so we are investing heavily in new parks over the coming years. We’ve also set aside close to $10 million to embellish new parks and just under $2 million to upgrade existing parks.”
“To provide for our growing community, there will be a lot of action on the sporting field front with $4.5 million set aside for works on Caddies Creek Reserve and $3.1 million for Arnold Avenue Reserve.”
“There’s a wonderful year on the horizon in The Hills and while it will no doubt be a time of great change, we are best equipped to do it.”