Improving cycling infrastructure is among Wollongong City Council's focus areas in the next four years, with plans to spend more than $7 million on new cycleways.
A suite of the council's plans and programs, including its draft budget for the coming financial year, the draft operational plan, and its draft infrastructure delivery program, will go before councillors at next Monday's meeting.
The council plans to spend $830 million in capital works, operations and maintenance over the next four years, with $109.5 million in capital expenditure proposed for next financial year.
In 2021-22, the council plans to have 200 projects in the design phase and another 250 in construction.
The projects for which construction will continue or begin include the second stage of the Helensburgh village centre project, the North Wollongong Surf Life Saving Club refurbishment, and work on the Grand Pacific Walk at Clifton.
Among the projects in planning and design are footpath upgrades in Keira and Burelli streets, air-conditioning at Corrimal's library, and the replacement of amenities at Belmore Basin.
Over the next four years, the council proposes to spend $2 million on safety around schools, and $7.6 million on play facilities, as well as $18 million on sustainability and climate initiatives, such as dune maintenance.
Active transport, particularly cycling, is a priority for the council, with $15.9 million proposed for such projects as the Cringila Hills Mountain Bike Park, planning for next year's UCI World Road Championships, and new cycleways.
Lord Mayor Gordon Bradbery said one of the highlights of the council's plans for the coming four years were the development of the new libraries and community centres at Warrawong and Helensburgh.
"The amenity of the city is a significant priority," Cr Bradbery said.
The council plans to add colour through flowers and gardens, provide more public recycling, and ensure cleaner amenities.
Cr Bradbery said other highlights were investment in West Dapto - more than $41.7 million - and the spend on environmental issues.
He said he hoped the council had captured the wishes and ideas of the city's residents in its operational plan and delivery program.
If the budget is adopted, rates will increase by two per cent - the cap set by the Independent Pricing and Regulatory Tribunal - to cover the rise in the council's costs.
Domestic waste charges for a standard 120-litre bin will rise by $6 per year to $417 (an increase of 1.5 per cent), and other fees and charges will also increase by two per cent.
There have been no increases made to catch up on the freezes imposed for the past year in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
If endorsed by the council next week, the plans will go on public exhibition for comment from April 22.
The council strongly encourages residents to make submissions.
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