Notwithstanding its impending demise in the middle of the coming year, Athy Town Council is set to slightly increase its support to localorganisations .
In a budget approved by members just before Christmas, it was revealed that local authorities had been instructed to prepare 12 month budgets even though they were ceasing in June.
“This reflects the fact thatfor the second part of 2014, the cost of service provision, payroll, maintenance of assets, etc, within the Athy municipal area will still have to be met,” Director of Services Joe Boland told the members.
The past four years has seen the council cut costs under the terms of the National Recovery Plan 2011-2014.
The council has taken €250,000 out of the payroll costs in the past four years simply by not replacing staff who left or retired.
The Director of Services had proposed a 2% increase in commercial rates, but this was rejected by the members, who decided to leave the rates as they were.
He also projected a €36,500 reduction in income from paid parking. following on from a €25,000 reduction in 2013. At the meeting he cautioned that it could get to a point where the pay-parking scheme would not be viable.
However, Mr. Boland was happy to report that despite the reductions, he was in a position to maintain grant aid to local groups.
A total of 18 groups who received grants in 2013 will once again receive funds in 2014.
Generally speaking the amounts proposed were the same or more than last year with a total allocation increased from €63,550 to €66,380.
In total Athy Town Council intends spending €2,397,987 in the coming year, versus €1,964,329 in 2013. Expenditure will be across several headings including Housing, Transport, Water Services, Development Management, Environmental and Recreation and Amenity.