Council forecasts $32.5 million deficit before virus costs
Central Coast Council has forecast a deficit of $32.5 million next financial year in its operational plan for 2020-21 but has recognised significant adjustments may need to be paid in the wake of the coronavirus.
It has budgeted for a 2.6 percent rate rise.
The draft operational plan - or budget - for next year was presented to the extraordinary council meeting on March 23 where it was explained that it was developed prior to the "realisation of the impacts" of the virus.
It proposed that Council would receive operational revenue of $551.6 million and spend $584.1 million on essential services.
The plan lists every project and initiative that council plans to deliver in the 12 months from July.
It also includes all fees and charges such as those for playing fields and community halls and childcare centres.
Staff had recommended that councillors vote to endorse the draft and put it out on public exhibition for residents to comment on.
Deputy mayor Cr Jane Smith added three amendments to recognise the impacts of the coronavirus.
"Staff are going to need to look at what those potential impacts are going to be on the situation next year and recognising that we may have to make some significant adjustments to our operational plan when it comes back to us," Cr Smith said.
"I think it's important to flag that with the community - that we put this out on exhibition, (and) in four weeks' time when it comes back to us we will have a clearer picture of what next year might look like."
Central Coast Council agenda 3.3, 23 Mar 2020