Councillor Eli Melky is proposing a 5% rate reduction for residents in 2020-21, followed by a rates freeze at current level in 2021-22.
Left: Cr Melky attending the last council meeting by Zoom. He was calling in from home – the San Francisco backdrop was virtual.
He is also suggesting a two-year rate freeze for business and commercial properties.
These are among a number of measures he is putting forward for council to consider at tonight’s committee meetings, ahead of council entering its budget setting period.
To compensate for the loss of revenue, he proposes council identify areas of savings based on a reduced demand for its services. Among them: parks redevelopment, recycling, the climate action plan, and road reserve maintenance with the onus shifted to owner/occupiers.
Cr Melky says budget meetings with elected members have been delayed due to “the additional workload placed on Council CEO and his team” by the Coronavirus situation.
He has developed his proposals as “a Covid-19 Community CARE, ADAPT and RECOVERY Plan”.
“The Coronavirus requires us to take a very different approach, one of consolidation and conservation,” while also planning for recovery.
Council’s committee meetings will be held tonight due to yesterday’s public holiday. The Alice Springs News will report tomorrow on the debate.
– Kieran Finnane
Last updated 15 April 2020, 1.50pm.
Correction of fact: The earlier version of this article reported that residential rates in 2021-22 would be frozen at the discounted level of 2020-21. Cr Melky is proposing they be frozen at the current (pre-discount) level.