The cost per councillor to govern greater Bendigo is almost $12,000 above the state average.
Victorian government Know Your Council data released today, shows the cost of delivering council's governance services is $60,204 per councillor in greater Bendigo - an increase of 10 per cent during the past year
That figure compares with $46,665 in Ballarat, $56,627 in Warrnambool, $53,231 in Wodonga and $48,135 in Geelong.
"Direct costs have increased due to overall higher costs on things such as advertisements for ward meetings and notifications, subscriptions and training," council said in the report.
Meanwhile, Warrnambool and Wodonga, who both recorded increased costs, attributed their extra spend to the recruitment of a new chief executive officer. Their costs were still lower than the City of Greater Bendigo.
Ballarat and Geelong councils both decreased their governance per councillor costs, with Geelong's dropping from $101,558 to $48,135. The reduction was attributed to the council having no paid administrators for the the first time since 2014.
City of Greater Bendigo director of corporate performance Andrew Cooney said council had done a lot of work in this area.
"We want to make sure we have the right amount of training (for councillors) and an increased presence in the wards. That all takes planning," he said.
"We think (that training) helps provide better outcomes. If you look at the satisfactions scores, we would like to think that is a flow on (effect).
"There have been great events with councillors this year where they have meet with residents in their area to talk about assets, equipment and programs that are important to them. We have had a number of those through the year."
Satisfaction with Bendigo council decisions has increased, with the city scoring 57 out of 100 compared to 54 last year. It was above the state average of 55 and similar councils average of 52.
Council's consultation score was steady at 56 out of 100, matching the state average.
Mr Cooney said the progress of the Local Government Bill 2019 would be important for future years.
"(The governance data) is an area that has a lot in it, part of it is training and engagement sessions," he said.
"We are watching the Local Government Bill progress (because) there are parts in there that talk about mandatory induction training. So we feel it is important to get it right and provide the tools and training (for councillors) to be best council possible."
Decisions made by council behind closed doors have increased by 45.7 per cent.
Bendigo council makes 8.29 per cent of decisions at meetings closed to the public. In 2016-17, 3.23 per cent of decisions were made at closed meetings while in 2017-18 that number rose to 5.69 per cent.
"There was a higher number of commercial in confidence Section 89 decisions required during the reporting period," council said in the report.
The state average lists all councils making 9.55 per cent of decisions behind closed doors.
Data also showed Bendigo councillors are attending fewer meetings.
The percentage of attendance by councillors at council meetings had dropped to 91.45 per cent. The state average is 91.70 per cent.
In 2016-17, data showed Bendigo councillors attended 95.56 per cent of council meetings, dropping to 93.16 in 2017-18.
"We are pretty close to (the state average) and similar councils, it is not something we are concerned about," Mr Cooney said.
Visits to aquatic facilities have almost tripled from 1.6 per head of municipal population last year to 4.23 this year but it was still below the state average of 5.11.
In Ballarat, the number of visits was 6.06, Warrnambool recorded 6.85 and Wodonga stood at 8.43.
"The figure for visits to aquatic facilities has significantly increased due to changes in service including the opening of a new indoor aquatic and leisure centre in late October, 2018 along with changes to an existing indoor aquatic and leisure centre which transferred from a leased facility to a contract managed facility in April, 2019," council said in the report.
The direct cost to council (less any income received) of providing indoor aquatic facilities per visit is $5.79 compared to the state average of $3.15. Other councils recorded figures of $1.6 (Ballarat), $2.07 (Warrnambool) and $2.05 (Wodonga).
Mr Cooney said he wasn't sure if those costs would reduce in the future.
"(Gurri Wanyarra) is a new facility. It opened in October last year, so it has had a summer but I think over time it will be better than last summer," he said.
"A lot of costs go into a new facility in the first couple years of operation. As we learn how operate it better, costs (may) come down.
"The community is also still getting used to it. We have seen a steady increase in members and done some great work in Eaglehawk at the Peter Krenz Leisure Centre to improve that."
Direct cost to council (less any income received) for outdoor facilities is $8.43, a decrease of 20 cents from the previous year and below the state average of $12.08.
This compared to $4.36 in Warrnambool, $5.50 for Ballarat and $7.41 in Wodonga.
Council performed strongly in the waste data category with 58 per cent of garbage, recyclables and green organics collected from kerbside bins diverted away from landfill.
"The second full year of the education program ran by the city staff has been completed, resulting in an increase in diversion from landfill for all waste streams," council said in the report.
The cost of collecting recyclables was $57.42 per kerbside recyclables collection bin, just below the state average of $57.71.
But the cost had increased $27.30 in 2015-16 to $28.03 in 2016-17 and $36.53 in 2017-18.
"There has been an increase in overall recycling and increase in public space recycling at the city compared to previous years," council said.
Kerbside garbage collection costs $140.83 per kerbside garbage bin.
The number is a decrease from $145.35 in 2017-18 but still $34.24 above this year's state average.
Bendigo performed will in the maternal and child health indicators with 101.23 per cent of infant enrolled in the service, above the state average of 100.73 per cent.
Cost of maternal and child health is $77.50, below the state average of $81.48.
Mr Cooney said the local road performance was also strong.
There percentage of sealed roads below the renewal intervention level set by council is 99.47 per cent - above the state average of 96.48 per cent.
It costs council $7.07 per square metre to reseal roads compared to the state average of $13.24.
"Almost 100 per cent of our roads are maintained to condition standards and our community satisfaction with sealed roads is better than state average," he said.
"There is always room for improvement but overall, I think this year's results again show we are providing sustainable, high quality services to our community."