Somerset Regional Council meets again next week.
Somerset Regional Council meets again next week.

Five decisions council will vote on next week

THE Somerset Regional Council will meet again next week, with plenty of major decisions to make ahead of their budget meeting in June.

Meetings are currently still closed to public attendance due to COVID-19 restrictions, but audio will be streamed online.

Read on to find out what topics councillors will discuss next week:

Applications

Planning and development is the bread-and-butter of every council meeting, with numerous applications being processed by councillors at each meeting.

Next week, councillors will settle two applications for keeping more than the maximum number of animals, and two other development applications.

READ MORE: The $68k price tag to fix just 10 roads

Fun run

The 18th annual Somerset Rail Trail Fun Run or Ride was set to take place on July 12, but the current restriction recovery road map means it is extremely unlikely the event will be able to take place on that date.

Councillors will this week consider whether to officially postpone the event, and what other options or activities could be used to replace it.

READ MORE: The friendly face greeting travellers for more than a decade

Rate sales

Under the current rate policy, the council can seize and sell land in cases where property owners have several years’ worth of unpaid rates.

As a result of the coronavirus pandemic, this policy has been adjusted so that only properties with more than $100,000 in overdue rates and charges will be included in any recommendations for sale of lands.

Councillors will this week consider whether to move forward with sales on properties that meet these criteria.

READ MORE: Council reveals how it will handle rates during pandemic

Grants

The latest round of Somerset’s Community Assistance Grants Program closed on April 24, with numerous applications lodged.

Next week, councillors will decide whether to grant or refuse 10 of these applications, sent in by community groups and committees from throughout the region.

READ MORE: Libraries, information centres open as restrictions ease

Tourism

In an effort to boost local operators and encourage visitors to the region, council will consider whether to fund one-year membership for tourism operators who are not currently on the Australian Tourism Data Warehouse.

The cost would be covered by the pre-existing budget which was set aside for other tourism purposes and has not been spent due to the impacts of COVID-19.


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