The final budget for Mullingar Town Council was adopted this week, November 26, and will see an average charge of just €116 levied upon the town’s 721 ratepayers, down from €148 last year.
However, this €116 is just a top-up levy imposed on the town’s ratepayers to run the town council, which is added to the average commercial rate within the county, struck at €5,403 for 2013.
The horse-trading to set this for 2014 will happen at a behind-closed-doors meeting of the county council and the executive on December 9, with the new, agreed-upon rate presented to the public at the December monthly meeting a week later.
The €70,859 demanded from the county to run Mullingar Town Council is a reduction of 22 per cent on the figure for 2013, but will be rendered moot by the end of May when the council is consigned to history.
“This is the element of expenditure specific to Mullingar which is under the remit of the town council. The vast majority of [public] spending in Mullingar comes under the county council,” explained the county’s accountant, Jimmy Dalton.
The town council’s biggest expense - comprising more than half of its draw-down - is the €35,700 it pays to three part-time crossing guards.
Expenses and allowances for the nine members comes to a little under €15,000, whilst the running costs for the Market House itself requires almost another €10,000.
Fortunately, the loan taken out to refurbish this landmark building a number of years ago is no longer an issue, as the final €14,000 annual repayment was made in October.
It was also revealed that the top 30 ratepayers in Mullingar account for 35 per cent of the take, yielding an average payment of €960 each per annum.
The remaining 691 account for the balance, and will pay a paltry average of €79 each for 2014.
Cllr Mick Dollard suggested making a €2,000 donation to the Society of St Vincent de Paul, and this was seconded by Cllr Aidan Davitt.
After 90 years of oversight in the town of the crooked mill, this budget was adopted by a council less than six months from extinction.