Building and upgrading infrastructure, including the purchase of a new council building, are key items in the 2012-13 Shire of Wyndham East Kimberley budget.
Major projects in the new budget, adopted last week, include a $400,000 septic waste facility, $313,000 in upgrades to the Kununurra Leisure Centre, $700,000 for lighting upgrades to the Kununurra Agricultural Oval and more than $1 million for improvements to the Kalumburu Road and access roads.
A significant item in the budget is the relocation of the Shire offices.
Having decided against building a new facility, the Shire is in negotiations to buy an existing building in which to relocate.
Shire chief executive Gary Gaffney said a possible new building had been identified.
“We’ve been looking for around the past 12 months at new council chambers and administration and we have been working to potentially move to a new location and we are just bringing that through council at the moment,” he said.
“We’ve been negotiating with parties on the potential of a building and we’ve had people who are interesting in leasing the (existing) council area.”
A total $4 million in loans have been budgeted to purchase, repair and fit-out the building.
“I think we went on the safe side of our budget allocations, we didn’t put an underspend there,” he said. “We put estimates in there. If we don’t need to spend that money it won’t be spent but we do need to ensure our council chambers and our administration area looks forward to the next decade.”
Despite the inclusion of infrastructural works, Mr Gaffney said the budget was conservative.
He said the Shire had striven to ensure events such as the Ord Valley Muster and Wyndham Stars on the Bastion were still supported by local government, and that funding was still available for community projects.
Under the new budget, $35,000 will be allocated to the Ewin Centre, $29,000 for the Wyndham Youth Services building and $22,000 for a new thermal fogger for Wyndham.
“Even with an 11 per cent reduction in Federal Assistance Grants the Shire is still able to deliver a budget that has kept service delivery at the same level and maintained a healthy capital works programme,” Shire president John Moulden said.