Confusion remains over the legitimacy of council's proposal for a special rate variation (SRV) to fund operations, maintenance and capital expenditure at the shire's pools.
Council has been working to get its ducks lined up in readiness for its application to IPART (Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal) for an SRV, ensuring that its financial documents are ready to meet the cut off date later this year.
However, in the meantime a complementary document, council's resourcing strategy, appears to have been overlooked.
The document outlines how the community strategic plan can be achieved in terms of time, money, assets and people.
Most importantly it states how operational costs, existing asset expenditure and new asset expenditure should be funded.
The three forms of expenditure have a list in descending order of possible ways to fund.
Both operational costs and existing asset expenditure should be funded out of the general fund (as they are currently) if grants or some other form of revenue are not available.
For new asset expenditure or capital costs the list (in descending order) is: capital grants, capital contributions, own source revenue, own source reserves, new debt, rating variations.
The strategy clearly points to new debt being used before an SRV is applied, should no grants be available for the work or council not have any other reserves or funds applicable for the work.
Rating variations are not listed as options for operational costs or ongoing maintenance.
The resourcing strategy covers the period 2017-21 and informs other aspects of council's operations.
Changing the resourcing strategy would probably have ramifications in other areas and would need the revised documents to be put on exhibition.
The resourcing strategy includes long-term financial planning, workforce management planning and asset management planning.
It's a key document which, if changed, will require other documents to be changed as well.
It is not clear how council managed to vote for the current pool strategy without taking into account its own set of guidelines in its resourcing strategy.
See council's response here: Council would alter policies if SRV agreed