ADELAIDE City Council last week invited the community to have a say on its draft 2015-16 Integrated Business Plan, which details how the council plans to manage its $175 million annual expenditure and $1.3 billion in assets during the next 12 months.
"The draft 2015-16 Integrated Business Plan will have a strong emphasis on a long term asset renewal program, on the greening of the city's streets, and on the continued activation of the city to encourage a steady growth in inner city living," said Lord Mayor Martin Haese.
"The City of Adelaide is undergoing a period of rapid and exciting transformation and growth. It is a great time to live, work and experience everything that the city has to offer. We are looking to the future with great confidence," Cr Haese said.
"Due to high growth over the last 12 months, the City of Adelaide's rate base is projected to grow significantly. This is the direct result of new construction projects coming on line. These 'new builds' have placed us in the fortunate position where we can take the pressure off existing rate payers by not increasing the rate in the dollar for the 2015-16 financial year.
Deputy Lord Mayor Houssam Abiad, Chair of Council's Finance and Business Services Committee, said the focus of this year's budget is to continue to deliver high quality services and invest in the city's infrastructure.
"Funding for asset renewal will be almost $35 million in 2015-16, representing a significant increase on the historical average spend. This will see continued improvements to our city's roads, footpaths, lighting and other urban elements," Cr Abiad said.
"Our road network will receive $8 million for resurfacing and reconstruction, while an additional $2 million is being dedicated to support additional maintenance on older assets as part of Council's ongoing commitment to improve the standards of our critical assets.
"Having recently signed a commitment with the State Government to work toward a carbon neutral city, Council is committing $932,000 to Climate Change Initiatives."
As well, the $1 million Greener Streets project is part of a larger green infrastructure plan that would help Adelaide City Council reach this carbon neutral goal. Greener Streets will allow for demonstration projects for more trees, green walls and rooftop gardens in the CBD.
"Creating great places where people want to spend more time is also a focus of the draft plan, with a $500,000 commitment to the Creating Great Streets project. The Placemaking work will continue with funding going toward the Market District Plan, the Topham Mall place pilot and the Station to Market Laneways master plan," Cr Abiad said.
"Activating the city to bring energy, vibrancy and people to its streets continues to be a priority with $726,000 budgeted for city activation."
Other key projects in the draft 2015-16 Integrated Business Plan include:
- Connect Adelaide Digital Strategy with $470,000 going toward smart technology and Wi-Fi services to build a truly connected city;
- The Mainstreets Development Program which will work with local business groups to support and grow local businesses in city precincts;
- Business support through entrepreneur support initiatives, business growth support programs, promotions to attract investment, and initiatives to build retail performance;
- Continued delivery of the Smart Move Strategy, including improved safety and infrastructure for pedestrians and cyclists, education and travel behaviour initiatives, and enhancement to the City Connector service;
- Financial support for the arts, culture and festivals through arts and living culture grants, funding to Festivals Adelaide, sponsorship funding, the Public Art Action Plan 2014-2019, the Rundle Lantern content programming, and events such as New Year's Eve and Christmas in the City;
- Community support through community development and recreation and sports grants, continued roll out of the Sports Infrastructure Master Plan, and Education Adelaide;
- $430,000 to the Safety Lighting Project to improve city safety;
- $370,000 to transition waste and recycling services to a more flexible service suited to changing city requirements; and
- Continued construction of the Adelaide Park Lands Trail that when completed, will form an 18 kilometre link to key recreational and environmental sites.
The draft 2015-16 Integrated Business Plan is open for public consultation until 4 June 2015. More information is available from Adelaide City Council's 'Your Say Adelaide' website at <http://yoursay.adelaidecitycouncil.com/>. The final plan is due to be endorsed by the council in June.