WESTPORT Town council will meet on Thursday next, January 10, to agree their last ever annual budget, and it has been recommended by manager Martin Keating to leave the rate for commercial and industrial property at 63.55 - which is no change on the 2012 figure.
The recommended budget for the financial year to end on December 31 2013 shows the gross expenditure planned by the local authority is €5,233,893, down €9,741 on last year. The spending is divided into categories; Housing and Building; Road Transportation and Safety; Water Supply and Sewerage; Development Incentives-Controls; Environmental Protection; Recreation and Amenity; Miscealleanous and Apportioned Administration.
Their target income comprises of €2,756,361 from rate receipts; €581,332 from the Local Government Fund; €310,000 from rent; €195,000 from road grants; and €1,391,200 from other income.
The manager’s report sets out the objectives for the year ahead of ‘building on the success of 2012 over a wide range of sectors in Westport’. Chief among these are; providing support to the retail and commercial sector by being pro-active in the promotion of the town and supporting new enterprises; supporting the tourism industry locally; to remain in a position to avail of whatever opportunities arise to take up grant investment in infrastructure; to complete investment on community facilities; to continue to provide essential services to the town and to bring the Civic Offices project through procurement to commence work.
Speaking ahead of the meeting on Thursday, Councillor Myles Staunton said that despite the uncertainty with regards to the future existence of Westport Town Council, it is important that the members do everything within their remit to promote activities within Westport town.
“While Westport, like other councils, will have to deal with the reduction of 5 per cent in the Local Government Fund due to the national economic situation, it is key that we continue to promote activity within the town,” he said. “The reality is that while many towns are stagnating at the moment, Westport needs to ensure that a number of key projects are followed through and completed. The forthcoming year should see significant progress with the Quay Community Centre, the Enterprise Centre and the Town Hall among other projects.”
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