There will be no increase in commercial rates in Mayo for 2021 following the adoption of the new budget by the elected members of Mayo County Council at their annual budget meeting on Monday morning.
The total budget for the coming year which is valued at €159 million, which is a 7.4 per cent increase on the 2020 budget was described as a 'progressive budget' by acting chief executive of the local authority, Peter Duggan.
Fianna Fáil council whip Cllr Damien Ryan proposed a number of amendments with support from the rest of the elected members to the draft budget put before them by the council executive with included an immediate grant of €50,000 to Ireland West Airport to help the airport though its current difficulties due to the impact of Covid-19. The grant was welcomed by the airport with Arthur French, Chairman, Ireland West Airport, saying in a statement after the adoption of the budget that: "I wish to sincerely thank Cllr Damian Ryan, Mayo County Council Chief Executive, Peter Duggan and its elected members, for today’s announcement, which will provide support for the expected record losses that the airport will incur both this year and in 2021.
"The strong support and backing of Mayo County Council is hugely appreciated and recognises the critical importance of Ireland West Airport for the people of Mayo and beyond. The strong recovery of the aviation sector and the restoration of vital air access into regional Ireland is of critical importance to Mayo and the wider region."
The other amendments included €30,000 for a fund for the retention, enhancement and development of facilities at GMIT's campus in Castlebar, including the formation of a steering group. There was also €50,000 to be used for a mental health and wellbeing campaign and an additional €50,000 for match funding for tourism projects in the county.
There was also a call from Fine Gael Cllr Peter Flynn for the council to examine its IT costs, along with a review of all support services and how they can be made more efficient and also how the council delivers under their capital projects plan.
The acting chief executive said the budget was about: "People and place and ensuring that the council can maintain services at an optimum level, with support for local businesses and local communities."