Macedon Ranges residential property owners can expect an increase in their rates next financial year.

Macedon Ranges mayor Janet Pearce presented the council’s draft budget for 2019-20 at a council meeting last week.

The report proposes an average 2.6 per cent increase in property owner’s rates and charges.

Council’s waste charge will increase by 3 per cent to cover the introduction of a new food organic collection service.

This year’s draft budget provides more than $80 million towards delivering services and projects and proposes a rate increase within the imposed 2.5 per cent rate cap.

Nearly $10 million will be spent on improving and maintaining roads and bridges, along with new footpaths and drainage works.

Cr Pearce said the council was committed to “significantly increasing spending on council facilities and buildings” in the Macedon Ranges.

“We will continue to invest in maintaining our extensive range of assets including the road network, footpaths and drainage,” she said.

“Increased funding has also been proposed for additional resources for the operations team to ensure the amenity of our trees, parks and roadsides are maintained to a high standard.

“Funds are proposed for a number of projects that will improve the cycling and walkability of the shire, as well as new pedestrian crossings in Gisborne and Woodend.”

The council has increased spending on facilities, including upgrading the changerooms at Dixon Field and Gardiner Reserve in Gisborne and Tony Clarke Reserve in Macedon. The old piggery shed building in Kyneton’s Botanic Gardens will be restored and the former maternal and child health centre in Victoria Street, Macedon will be renovated for potential use as a new neighbourhood house.

Together with the Victorian government, the council will deliver the new Macedon Ranges Regional Sports Precinct in New Gisborne, including completing stage two of the Romsey Ecotherapy Park.

Funding has also been allocated to begin the planning and implementation of recommendations from the dog on and off-leash review and cat curfew.

Residents are invited to have their say on the draft budget report for 2019-20 from April 30 until May 28.

To have your say, visit: