At last weekâ€™s monthly meeting of Longford County Council, members were informed that the local authorityâ€™s executive had made a submission to the Department of the Environment seeking clearance to recruit a Regeneration Officer.
The person who fills the position will be responsible for overseeing the implementation of the regeneration plan for Longford town.
It is hoped the plan will provide a shot in the arm for the local economy and effectivley tackle anti-social behaviour.
â€œThe last 12 months have been a very positive time for Longford, and if we can get the regeneration programme in place, itâ€™ll raise it further,â€ said Cathaoirleach Cllr Mark Casey (Ind).
â€œWe have an excellent executive fighting tooth and nail for Longford.â€
Labelling the plan a â€œmatter of urgencyâ€ to deal with anti-social behaviour, an emotional Cllr Gerry Warnock highlighted one issue at a housing estate in Longford town.
â€œI got a call from a landlord who is being intimidated by drug dealers.
â€œThese b*****ds are selling drugs and intimidating decent people.â€
Cllr Paul Ross (FG) added: â€œThis is a matter of urgency. There are problem areas not just in Longford town, but in other areas like Edgeworthstown.â€
Voicing concern over the length of time the recruitment process will take, Cllr Seamus Butler suggested approaching another local authority for assistance.
â€œIs there any way we could get someone on secondment from another county council?
â€œThe Department will take about two or three months to approve the request, and that along with the recruitment process will take too long.â€
Cllr Mae Sexton (Ind) supported Cllr Butlerâ€™s view on secondment.
â€œWe need to give confidence to the people playing rates in this town,â€ she said.
In response, Longford County CEO, Tim Caffrey, explained: â€œRegarding secondment, you need two parties to agree. Iâ€™ve asked other local authorities if they have spare capacity and they are looking into it.
Mr Caffrey added that, â€œWe need the right person for this job.â€