Membes of Longford County Council agreed that commercial rates will remain the same as last year at €63.35. The issue was discussed at this week’s Annual Budget Meeting of Longford County Council held on Monday night.
Expenditure is expected to increase by €1.6m to €39.4m and a provision of €140,000 has been made for running the local elections, which finance director Barry Lynch indicated was based on spend during Election 2009.
A 40% decrease in housing grants for the disabled and older people, was evaded after Cllr John Duffy (FG) proposed that €22,500 of extra income from private rented inspections be put towards the housing grants. This was unanimously accepted and the move together with match funding will bring the total grant fund to €910,000, which is an increase on last year’s spend.
“2014 will be an extremely challenging year,” County Manager Tim Caffrey stated.
“We will continue to improve the services and we can also look at how much was achieved in 2013 which includes Trumra Road, Granard and St Michael’s Road, Longford.
“ The first phase of the new fire station in Lanesboro will begin in April 2014. We also expect that Granard Library will be completed by March 2014.”
However not everybody was happy with the budget as outlined at the meeting.
“There is no incentives for businesses in this budget and the time has come to deal with the rates issues once and for all,” fumed Cllr Martin Mulleady (FF). “I am not happy about this issue and it needs to be addressed properly; I have been saying it time and again.”
How is Longford County Council spending its money? See next week’s Longford Leader for a special report.