By Kate Stephens, 07 Oct 2014, 12:41 AM UTC
Mount Isa ratepayers promised drought levy respite if funds bid successful
The Mount Isa City Council has applied for more than $3 million in Queensland Government funding for water filtration equipment. The council has submitted the application as part of the latest round of Royalties for the Regions funding. Mayor Tony McGrady says the money would allow council to buy equipment similar to what it is currently leasing, to provide extra filtration during the drought. He says the council would also make a financial contribution. "Based on the figures we would have to contribute around about $3 million and we propose to get that $3 million from loan funds which would be repaid over 10 years," he said. "So it's basically the council purchasing the equipment which currently we are leasing and that equipment would be the council's, we would control it and we would be able to use it for years to come." Councillor McGrady says ratepayers will not face further drought levy payments if it is successful in receiving the funding. Ratepayers are paying the $440 levy, to cover costs of hiring the extra water filtration equipment required during the drought. Cr McGrady said buying the equipment outright means even if the drought continues, the levy would eventually stop. "So it would mean that people ... obviously wouldn't have to pay the levy in future because we now own the equipment and we would then be paying it off with loan funds, so that levy would cease," he said. "I can't give you the exact date as to when the levy would cease but as soon as we are in the position that we no longer have to pay it it would stop on the spot."
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