LEETON shire mayor Tony Reneker has spoken out on council's proposed special rate variation.
The proposal for a cumulative 52.52 per cent increase in rates for the general fund over the coming two financial years has stirred up many emotions within the community.
The main one has been anger, which councillor Reneker said he accepted.
With so much information available surrounding the proposal, there have also been many rumours abounding regarding possible reasons why Leeton Shire Council feels it needs to apply for the special rate variation.
Cr Reneker said two of these heavily centred on the redevelopments of the Leeton pool and Roxy Theatre.
He said there were many residents who believed the proposed special rate variation was being introduced to cover costs associated with these two projects, but he said this wasn't the case.
Money raised from the rate increase, if approved, would not be going towards either of these areas.
However, Cr Reneker did acknowledge the pool project in particular had been a "debacle".
"I certainly understand the frustration from the community regarding the pool ... I will admit was a debacle," he said.
"In relation to that, especially when it comes to the slide, money for that comes from the pool reserves fund, not the general fund.
"The pool itself hasn't impacted that general fund. The SRV proposal has nothing to do with the pool or the Roxy Theatre redevelopment."
Cr Reneker said he understood the frustration of residents when it comes to the proposal, which will be voted on at council's November ordinary meeting.
He remains hopeful a middle ground compromise can be met and said all options would be looked at.
"The reality is, we can't sit on our hands and do nothing ... if we do nothing, a few years down the track the problem is going to be a lot worse and even more serious than it is now," Cr Reneker said.
"Doing nothing will get us nowhere.
"With the consultation we have been having, I am hopeful we can find a middle ground. I understand people's frustrations and concerns about this.
"That is why I want people to know we are listening to them and we are taking all of their feedback on board."
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