Shire of Narrogin councillors have locked in a 4.99 per cent rates rise and adopted the 2022-23 annual budget, targeting the long-awaited library expansion project and completion of the railway precinct. Councillors unanimously voted to adopt the 4.99 per cent rates rise at the July 27 council meeting, reflecting the increased cost of living and running the Shire, according to Shire president Leigh Ballard. “The proposed increase in rates means that the average rates for a typical three-by-two house in Narrogin townsite will increase by approximately $80 per annum, or the equivalent of $1.50 per week, about the same as a mug of coffee per month,” an officer’s report said. The rates hike follows the 2.5 per cent rates increase last year, reduced from 2.9 per cent due to “efficiency gains” within the Shire. “The rates rise is because unfortunately everyone’s costs are going up and we tried to keep it as low as we could,” Mr Ballard said. “I’m certainly happy the rates rise is a lot lower than other Shires around.” Some long-awaited Shire of Narrogin projects are set to be funded, including $400,000 for the library expansion project. Mr Ballard said the Shire was pleased to get the project underway. “It’s been in the pipeline for about five years and it should hopefully be completed in the next 12 months,” he said. “It will be great to expand the library, give them a bit more space and make it more modern.” Other big ticket items in the budget include $130,000 for works at the Narrogin Town Hall including lighting, a hot water system and stage rigging — up from $75,000 allocated last year. The funding comes after Narrogin’s peak arts organisation Arts Narrogin pulled its production from the town hall and moved it to Williams in May due to ongoing safety issues at the State Heritage-listed building. The Shire has since agreed to address the safety issues, with the stage rigging being the number one priority. The restoration of the Narrogin Railway Station was allocated $175,000 for the completion and fit-out, dependent on grants. Mr Ballard said everyone would be excited to see the Narrogin railway precinct and Goods Shed projects completed. The Shire are also looking to install about $200,000 worth of additional CCTV cameras around town, subject to grant funding. “We’ve put a nominal figure in the budget, but it is subject to getting some grant funding,” Mr Ballard said. “We are just wanting to expand our coverage.” The Shire have been working on upgrading the caravan park and have allocated a total $495,000 for the construction of three chalets and construction of ablutions and a kitchen. The Shire’s State Heritage listed buildings— the Anzac War Memorial and Old Courthouse Museum— will receive a total boost of $90,810 for restoration and repair work. Public art projects will receive $45,455, including the painting of four new murals by local and Indigenous artists. Narrogin Leisure Centre would also receive $484,500 towards purchasing a new emergency generator, court upgrades, lighting improvements, and provision for repairs to pool liner, filter and boiler. Highbury Park will be fitted with a wheelchair-accessible table setting and upgraded play equipment, with $57,000 allocated to the project.