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Mayo County Council agree €120m budget

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Council agrees €120m budget after marathon meeting


Rates stay the same as council cuts costs by 7.9 per cent

Castlebar
Edwin McGreal
edwinmcgreal@mayonews.ie

Members of Mayo County Council last night agreed on a €120 million budget for 2013.
The draft budget presented to councillors was adopted almost in full, with some minor amendments.
County Manager Peter Hynes told the meeting that the last four years had been ‘about consolidation, competitiveness and change’ and said that would continue to be the case in 2013.
He outlined that the council had brought their budget down from over €146 million in 2008 to just over €120 million for 2013, a reduction of 21.3 per cent. The 2013 budget is down 7.9 per cent from the 2012 budget.
The council estimate that their income sources for 2013 will amount to €120,075,841. This will come from three chief sources - state grants, money made from goods and services; and recoupment and agency works.
The council estimate to receive the bulk of income, over €69 million, from state grants. The Local Government Fund from central government (€27 million) and road grants (€20 million) are the biggest figures here.
The council estimate to receive over €21 million in payments for their goods and services. The most significant figures here are over €4 million for housing rents and RAS rents; €3.6 million for landfill/civic amenity; the same figure for water charges and €2 million for landfill levies.

Rates

Under the category of recoupment and agency works, the council estimate an income of over €13 million for rates on commercial properties.
The same commercial rate was passed as what has applied since 2010, that is €68.76 in the Euro of rateable value. Note, this is distinct from the actual value of a premises and a typical rateable value could range between €30 and €100 for a averaged sized property.
In terms of expenditure for 2013 by department or division, the council estimate an expenditure of just under €32 million for road transportation and safety; just over €25 million for water services; just under €18 million for environmental services and just under €15.5 million for housing and building.
Expenditure for development management; recreation and amenity; agriculture, education, health and welfare; and miscellaneous services are all estimated at between €5 million and €10 million.

Amendments
The council rose at 5.15pm (having begun the meeting at 10am) to strike the rate in camera and to agree on the budget. The party whip of Fine Gael, the majority party, Cllr Joe Mellett, said his party were proposing the budget with a number of amendments.
These included the increase of funding to agricultural shows by €5,000 to €12,000; €5,000 to the Martin Sheridan Bursary Grants scheme; €5,000 to Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann for the Mayo Fleadh Cheoil; €5,000 for the recently opened Alzheimers centre in Foxford; and €5,000 each to two suicide awareness and prevention groups, Console and Talk About It.
The executive of the council had proposed an increase of €50 for every fire service call out charge which would bring an additional €40,000 income to the council but a number of councillors criticised this and so the council were requested to find this saving of €40,000 from elsewhere.
The council’s Head of Finance, Peter Duggan, told the meeting that he felt it would be possible to make these savings - €70,000 in total - elsewhere and listed the NPPR (non-principal private residence), development levies and pension levies as areas where this total would be recovered.

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