LIMERICK City and County Council has passed its revenue budget for 2020 which it describes as “domestically strong” and “internationally focused”.
The revenue budget proposed by Councillor John Sheahan and seconded by Councillor Michael Collins totals €825.4million.
It was approved by councillors following a three hour debate in Dooradoyle on Friday November 15.
Three quarters of the budget is for the Housing Assistance Payment Shared Services which Limerick runs on behalf of the 31 local authorities, leaving €183.6 million to pay for the day to day services for Limerick’s citizens.
Through the 2020 budget additional funds will be provided to a number of sectors:
€4.25 million has been allocated for housing in Limerick which will go towards the homeless service provision, the maintenance of houses and the Rental Accommodation Scheme.
The city and county council is also expected to embark on a major refurbishment of its housing stock – which amounts to 5,500 homes – next year.
€4.83 million has been budgeted for roads including for the maintenance and improvement of national, primary and secondary roads as well as regional and local roads.
Environmental services will see €1 million in 2020 with the funding going towards litter management, waste management planning and street cleaning along with the fire service, fire prevention and water quality, and air and noise pollution management.
Public lighting across the city and county is also planned to be replaced with LED bulbs which is expected to have a major impact on the environment as well as cut costs of lighting for the council.
€500,000 has been allocated to recreational areas across Limerick. These include leisure facilities, parks, playgrounds, open spaces and libraries. The arts programme will also benefit from this funding.
The local authority has committed to tackle urban and rural dereliction across the city and county in 2020 including with the advancement of key public realm projects.
Councillors agreed to implement no changes to the Annual Rate of Valuation for commercial rate payers. They’ve also approved the continuation of the Small and Medium Business Support Scheme, the Tourism Sector Support Scheme and the Vacant Property Allowance Scheme.
Speaking at the opening of the budget meeting, Chief Executive of Limerick City and County Council Dr Pat Daly stressed the importance of the budget.
“This is the first budget of the new Council and sets the platform for our ambitious plans and strategy moving forward,” he said.
“It builds on previous budgets that consolidated our council finances and it allows for the innovative delivery of many services, programmes and projects, positioning Limerick as an enviable location to live in, invest in and visit and will allow this progress and strategy to continue to be domestically strong and internationally focused in the post Brexit environment.”
The revenue budget works in tandem with the capital budget of €217.1 million.