A new pay and display system will start to operate in the Dunnes Stores car park, Castlebar over the coming weeks. This new system will see barrier free pay and display parking operating in the car park similar to the one in use already in the other council owned car parks.
The council’s previous agreement with other parties ended at the end of last year in regard to the Dunnes and Tesco car parks in the town. Fine Gael Councillor Ger Deere proposed that the council would introduce new bye-laws into the town so that unlike the other council car parks a pay and display system would also operate there on Sundays.
“We should introduce parking charges for the Dunnes Stores car park on Sundays as a way of increasing revenue for the council,” Cllr Deere told the annual budget meeting of the council. “People are already used to paying on a Sunday for parking there, so it wouldn’t make much of a difference to them.”
Cllr Deere’s suggestion received widespread support from the other councillors at the meeting. Town Clerk Marie Crowley told the meeting that this would bring in a potential extra €25,000 a year to the council, but it would probably be only in operation for about eight months of this year as the council has to bring in a bye-law and it would have to be advertised for a period of time before it became law.
Christmas lights budget cut
The members of Castlebar Town Council cut the budget for the Christmas lights in the town by €15,000 for the coming year at their annual budget meeting. The issue was raised by Fine Gael Councillor Noreen Heston, who told the meeting: “I have a big issue with €50,000 being spent on the Christmas lights in the town.” Town manager Seamus Granahan explained: “We tendered for the lights which came to €43,000 per year and we also make a contribution to the couple of streets which aren’t covered by the scheme.” Cllr Harry Barrett queried whether this was the last year of the agreement, which he was told it was. Cllr Kilcoyne told the meeting he did not think that the tender was for three years and that it was not a binding deal. Cllr Therese Ruane asked the meeting why it cost so much, as in Ballina it only cost €35,000.
Town manager Seamus Granahan told the meeting that if the councillors wanted to cut the allocated budget, then the council would have to do that. The councillors did cut the funding for the Christmas lights when they finalised the budget.