Donegal County Council’s revenue budget for 2016 was passed on Wednesday evening and there has been a roundly positive reaction.
The local authority has approximately 1.6million euro more to spend this year than last year, with the total budget at almost 133 million euro.
Chairperson of the Inishowen Municipal District Rena Donaghey said there were a number of positive aspects to the new budget, namely a focus on the urban and village renwal scheme to “rejuvenate” local areas and an increase in grants for the extension and renovation of homes resided in by senior citizens and people with disabilities.
Colr Donaghey said: “The Urban Village and Renewal Scheme is important as some of our villages have as much as 30% dereliction on the main streets. We hope this will make a huge difference and truly give people an impetus to invest in our towns. The news that the grants will increase significantly is also very welcome. These grants have been slashed dramatically in the past number of years and many people weren’t applying for them, as they just weren’t worthwhile. They hardly would have paid the VRT.”
Colr Donaghey said there are plans for an ‘equalisation’ process in relation to rates, to reduce the differences between those previously paying rates at urban council level and those paying at county council level.
The “outrageous” government decision to reduce rates for national utilities companies, which led to fears of the budget being cut is to appealed.