In what could possibly be their final budget the members of Castlebar Town Council voted to reduce the commercial rate by one per cent for the coming year. The members held their annual budget meeting on Tuesday afternoon and following a two hour debate they were able to agree the budget for 2013. The commercial new rate for the town will now be 70.23 in the euro, down from 70.94 last year.
There was a proposal from Independent councillor Frank Durcan not to pass the budget until the Government had given a firm commitment to the town on the future of Mayo General Hospital, The Sacred Heart Home and Knock Airport. However he failed to get a seconder from the other eight elected councillors for his proposal.
The members agreed to reduce the rates by one per cent leaving a shortfall in the budget of €40,839 to be found along with the increase in the funding for amenity grants by €30,000 and allocating €5,000 to the tourist office in the town, and €5,000 to a knowledge park study, left a total shortfall of €80,839 in the draft budget.
To make up the shortfall, town manager Seamus Granahan said that he would increase the collection of parking charges in the town by €20,839 to reflect the new car park that has opened in Pavilion Road in the town, he also agreed to cut the spending on the development plan in half to €40,000 and to increase the take from the NPPR by €20,000 to balance the budget.