Penola pleased about pool upgrade

A MUCH-needed $175,000 upgrade of Penola swimming pool is a key element of a pleasing Wattle Range Council budget for Penola/Coonawarra locals.

Penola Swimming Club president Tony O'Connell has welcomed news that the Penola pool will receive a $175,000 facelift.

Penola Swimming Club president Tony O'Connell has welcomed news that the Penola pool will receive a $175,000 facelift.

The council's 2014-15 draft annual business plan and budget includes $175,000 to refurbish the pool, $150,000 towards addressing stormwater issues in the town and road sealing for Pilgrim and Clayfield Rds at Coonawarra.

It is the second consecutive year the Penola pool has received council money, with close to $140,000 allocated across the Penola, Nangwarry and Millicent pools in 2013-14.

Penola Swimming Club president Tony O'Connell said the users of the pool would be happy to hear it was being looked after.

"It's used by lots of groups," he said. "For lots of months of the year."

In September last year parts of Penola were flooded after a heavy downpour, which led the council to look at ways to improve drainage and mitigate flooding.

On the rest of the budget, the council will continue to use its three differential "rates in the dollar" applied to the value of land for properties in the defined township, rural living and rural areas. 

The minimum rate will increase by 3.5 per cent to $595. 

Eligible pensioners and self-funded retirees will still receive a $50 concession in addition to any State Government pensioner concession they receive.

Addressing increased cost pressures on council and attempting to meet increased community expectations, mayor Peter Gandolfi said council proposed to limit the increase to total rate revenue to 4 per cent while maintaining a strong financial position.

"The Local Government Price Index (local government's equivalent to CPI) and new developments in the council area account for most of the increase in rate revenue," he said. 

"Additionally, council will deliver an operational surplus of $844,000 for new and replacement capital projects along with loan repayments and investing more on the maintenance of council-owned assets."

Mr Gandolfi urged members of the public to comment on the draft business plan in writing by May 27.

Residents and ratepayers can also make verbal submissions to council at its meeting on June 10. 

All submissions will be considered before the council adopts the 2014-15 annual business plan and budget.

Written submissions can be sent to the CEO, Wattle Range Council, PO Box 27, Millicent SA 5280 or emailed to 

Residents and ratepayers wishing to make a verbal submission should advise council by contacting executive assistant Sheryl Caston on 8733 0900. 

Copies of the draft plan are available for inspection at council offices and the Millicent Public Library or can be downloaded here.