Longford County Council CEO Paddy Mahon
The county's most senior local authority official believes Longford will not just withstand the country's post Covid-19 economic troubles but “thrive” over the course of the next 12 months.
Longford County Council chief executive Paddy Mahon made the prediction as elected members gathered on Monday to hear details of the local authority's multi million euro blueprint for next year.
“It's (Budget) ambitious, but reflects the level of ambition that exists in Longford,” he said.
It's anticipated the council's overall net spend will increase by over €9m in 2021, a promise which could see close to €40m being rolled out on a series of regeneration backed projects next year.
“We need to be in a position to build in 2021 when hopefully Covid-19 has become a thing of the past,” he said.
Part of that belief, he revealed, had led to the council devising its own in-house motto of “surviving and thriving”.
They were comments which several other onlooking councillors were only too quick to exemplifty.
Fine Gael's Peggy Nolan said the financial accounts delivered at Monday's annual budget meeting underlined the unwavering leadership which had been shown by council bosses from the top down.
“Like everybody else I had trepidation and was wary as we (Longford) are one of the smallest rates base in the county,” she said.
“But what this (Budget 2021) shows is that we will be forever indebted to our financial team and how we have never been in a stronger financial position.”
Another Fine Gael Cllr, John Browne alluded to the financial supports which had come the way of hard pressed ratepayers in the midst of Covid-19 via the county's 'Re-start Grants' initiative.
Others, led by Fianna Fáil group leader Seamus Butler offered up a similarly positive outlook, claiming the next 12 months could well be Longford's most economically propitious to date.
“We really have something to look forward to in 2021 in Longford on all fronts,” he said.
“Cash is the oil in the engine and we have that oil there, so much so that I firmly believe 2021 will be the year of delivery.”
Ensuring those soundings become a lasting reality may be easier said than done.
Whatever the outcome, you get the impression those holding the pursestrings within Longford County Council will not be founding wanting in executing those desires to a tee.