"THE problem remains".
That's the message when it comes to Leeton Shire Council's operating deficit.
While a motion to apply for a special rate motion was defeated in a tight vote at council's ordinary November meeting, the issue continues to be ongoing, with councillors now working on a way to address the problem.
A workshop was held this week where councillors and staff discussed what else could be done moving forward.
General manager Jackie Kruger said councillors were considering the next steps.
"Nothing too firm has come from the workshop ... there is certainly acceptance of the fact there is an operating deficit that needs to be filled," she said.
"There's general acceptance a special rate variation of sorts needs to be part of the solution, but the councillors still want time to think about how that operating deficit should be addressed.
"So, at this point in time, there is no firm direction, other than to consider whether there should be a mix of reduction in services and a special rate variation ... and what is a cost effective way to move forward. I think everyone wants time to think and an important component of the councillors' views is wanting to make sure the community understands everything fully."
IN OTHER NEWS:
This would mean whatever option is put forward as part of this process will again be done so in consultation with the community, so it can understand what is happening and why.
Mayor Tony Reneker emphasised it was now important council and councillors worked on a solution together.
"The problem hasn't gone away and councillors are aware of that ... nobody wants an SRV, that includes the councillors and the general manager," he said.
"The councillors are looking at every possible opportunity to save money, therefore reducing the rate of an SRV, and that will take time."
Mrs Kruger said part of this was continuing the drive to ensure Leeton remains a viable and thriving community. "Right now our main street is thriving, the empty shops are filling," she said.
"They are fuller than ever.
"We have had new retailers move into Leeton, which shows they are confident in the town.
"We (council) have sold numerous lots in the new Vance Estate sub-division off the plans and we've just got another two lots going to council next week has well.
"That signals great confidence in Leeton as a shire that it's an attractive place to live, work and raise a family in."
The SRV proposal process was met with anger from the community before the eventual motion was defeated at the November meeting.
Several other councils across NSW have lodged SRV proposals with the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal, including some that call for a 90 per cent increase in their town or cities rates.
The Irrigator will publish another story in an upcoming edition with further information from the mayor and general manager on the issue.
Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:
Sign up for our newsletter to stay up to date.