Business and community COVID-19 relief measures worth $1.148 million are part of the Horsham Rural City Council's draft budget for 2020-21 released on Tuesday.
All of the $484,000 expected to be raised through a 2 per cent rate rise will also go towards helping people recover from the pandemic.
A further $16 million has been earmarked for capital works including rural and urban road works, waste management and major road and footpath upgrades in Horsham North.
The Business and Community Assistance Program will be developed further to target the hardest hit areas of the community as the full effects of COVID-19 unfold.
HRCC Chief Executive Officer Sunil Bhalla said this year's forecasted spending had to be cut by $2.397 million to keep the budget debt-free.
However service delivery is being maintained at existing levels, except for those closed due to COVID-19, and $1.148 million has been allocated for fee relief and assistance to businesses and the community.
"Council's revenue has taken a huge hit, like our businesses, and we have responded with this proposed budget in the best way we can, without really knowing what the true extent of the impact on our community will be," Mr Bhalla said.
He said although a rate increase was proposed, the revenue would be spent supporting businesses, particularly hospitality and tourism, and rebuilding the community, including moving ahead with capital works which could boost the economy.
"The budget proposes to reduce service delivery costs by $1.695 million, initiatives by $190,000 and capital $512,000 to enable council to deliver a responsible budget while supporting the community and covering expected lost revenue and increased costs resulting from the pandemic," Mr Bhalla said.
Council's core services, roads and rubbish, have received the greatest allocation. The capital program includes $3.845 million for rural roads reconstruction, $1.876 million to rebuild urban roads and $3.255 million for waste management. Rural roads at Wail, Brimpaen and Jung are among those slated for upgrades.
Funding has also been allotted for the refurbishment of the Wesley Performing Arts Centre- with $545,000 funded by the Wesley Committee - a $164,000 skate park upgrade and $429,000 for footpaths and cycle ways. The full list of works can be found on the Council's Community Map.
The draft budget will be on exhibition for 36 days and will be available online and a hard copy can be viewed by appointment.
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Submissions on the proposed budget should be made in writing to the chief executive officer. People can also complete a submission online through council's website.
Written and online submissions must be received before 5pm on Tuesday, July 7, 2020. Council will meet to formally consider the draft budget at its meeting on Monday, 27 July.