PROJECTS totalling $1.3 million have been placed on the backburner as Queanbeyan-Palerang Regional Council (QPRC) takes a $2 million hit to its bottom line, due to COVID-19 and natural disasters.
Projects “deferred” or “removed” from councils operational budget following community feedback, include $115,000 worth of improvements to the Queanbeyan aquatic centre, $200,00 to fix a major leak at Captains Flat pool, $14,000 for a goal post renewal program and $30,000 set aside for a customer satisfaction survey.
Footpath extensions in Jerrabomberra and Bungendore, and community hall refurbishments have also ben deferred.
According to QPRC, the pandemic coupled with drought, bushfires and floods, over the past 18 months, have impacted council’s budget by around $2 million.
Whilst council is expecting a consolidated $428,000 surplus across its general, water, sewer and waste funds, a $5.1 million deficit in the general fund forced council to remove some of its planned projects to improve their budget position.
In QPRC’s 2021-22 operational plan, Mayor Tim Overall described the last few years as “incredibly challenging”.
“Since 2019, we have all battled through drought, bushfire, three separate flood events and the impacts of COVID-19,” Mr Overall said.
“The word ‘resilience’ has become a main feature of our community over the past two years and has become a regular part of our approach to business.”
Meantime more than $140 million worth of capital works — funded through grants, reserves and loans — will kick off across the Queanbeyan-Palerang region this year and next, including Queanbeyan’s main street upgrade, a new civic and cultural centre, a regional sports complex at Jerrabomberra, upgrades to the Braidwood pool and a sports hub in Bungendore.
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