Lismore passes budget with $60,600 deficit

LISMORE City Council has passed its $134 million 2014-15 budget with a deficit of $60,600 that may increase as the Federal Budget passes through Parliament.

The agenda for the council's meeting on Tuesday noted that adopting the budget (Imagine Lismore 1 Year Plan) in deficit conflicts with objectives to maintain a balanced annual budget from a cash perspective.

However, it noted achieving this would be possible in time by combining "a bal-anced budget target with the review of the long-term financial plan planned for the first quarter of 2014-15".

The council blamed the deficit on the three-year pause on indexation of Federal Assistance Grants and the end of some concessions for pensioners and seniors from July 1.

In allocating spending, the council has directed $30m at the council area's roads.

A further $11m would be spent on wastewater infra-structure, $5m on water infrastructure and more than $6m for the proposed North Lismore Plateau housing development.

Public submissions in response to the initial budget draft included five submissions to fund the Animal Rights and Rescue Group and a submission to improve Lismore Memorial Baths.

North Coast National A&I Society and the Lismore Music Festival Society requested an exemption for the Lismore Showground Trust and Lismore Eisteddfod respectively from a proposed 20% reduction in council donations.

The rescue group, festival society and A&I Society submissions were noted and the council has prepared design documentation for improving the baths.

The council has a net operating result for the year of $3.511m surplus and $509,000 before capital grants and contributions.

Only councillors Greg Bennett and Gianpiero Battista voted against the budget and Graham Meineke was absent.

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