Last Night Council adopted the Tamworth Emergency Water Supply Draft Plan in an effort to manage the limited water supply in the Peel Valley following the severe drought conditions that have affected the region since 2018. Chaffey Dam currently sits below 15% capacity and it is estimated that the remaining storage will exceed 18 months of supply. The two-stage plan will further increase the length of time that the supply could last. Part one of the plan focuses on; short term efficiency gains, improvements to existing supply sources and demand focused actions to support future water savings. Part two of the plan focuses on; the identification and implementation of a major emergency water supply source/s and further demand reductions including emergency measures that may only have a short term benefit.
A number of Council’s COVID-19 relief measures have been adjusted while some will continue unchanged. With NSW Government COVID-19 health measures easing, Councillors agreed from 1 July 2020 to phase out the use of additional public space to provide take-away food services without additional charges but parking meters in the Tamworth CBD will remain turned off until 1 September 2020. A report tabled at tonight’s meeting said Council has not started any new debt recovery action on overdue rates and charges since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. Council has also not charged any interest on overdue fourth-quarter rates instalments. “The impact of this is currently estimated to be $10,000 based on prior-year revenue,” the report said. It is estimated the zero interest charged on overdue rates and annual charges for the first half of the next financial year will cost the Council about $165,000.
Councillors tonight formally adopted the 2020-21 Annual Operation Plan which sets out the projects, services and activities Council will deliver to the community in the year ahead. Council will spend a total of $195.3 million across its general, water and sewerage funds in 2020-21 while collecting $71.9 million in income from rates and annual charges and delivering $90.713 million in capital works to improve local facilities and infrastructure. Key programs funded in the draft budget include: Sealed roads - $20,825,680; Unsealed roads - $5,107,878; Bridges - $1,705,658; Expand airport services and the aviation industry - $4,802,724; Quality parks, gardens, reserves, showgrounds and open spaces - $4,767,446; Maintain, upgrade and renew stormwater infrastructure - $3,670,669; Waste management and resource recovery - $15,755,575; and Plan construct, maintain and manage wastewater infrastructure - $18,369,056.