On Monday afternoon last, 26 November 2018, the Members of Wexford County Council unanimously adopted the Council’s Annual Budget, setting out the Council’s income generation and expenditure proposals for 2019. This is the last budget to be adopted by the Council whose 5-year term comes to an end next May when the Local Elections take place.
The Budget provides for an overall spend of €117 million, up €7.4 million from 2018. Housing Services is one of the main areas to benefit, with a total budget of more than €25 million, while Roads funding has also significantly increased with almost €30 million to be spent by Wexford County Council maintaining and improving the county’s roads during 2019.
Commercial Rates for 2019 are unchanged from their 2018 level while the Council’s highly successful Rates Incentives Schemes, which offer substantial discounts to commercial rate payers, will continue to operate in 2019.
The 2019 Budget Report also sets out the income sources which will fund the operational spend of approx. €117m – these can be summarised as follows: Goods and Services are estimated to raise €34.47 million, Grants and Subsidies are expected to yield €31.18 million, Commercial Rates amount to €36.5 million while income from Local Property Tax is estimated at €14.77 million.
The Chief Executive’s Report on the 2019 Budget referenced a list of Wexford County Council’s key capital projects and their respective stages of development:
• Min Ryan Park Construction Commenced
• Gorey Town & District Park Tenders being assessed
• Crescent Quay Planning process commenced and detailed design being progressed.
• Trinity Wharf Master Plan layout complete.
• Enniscorthy Technology Park Construction commenced.
• New Ross Advance Factory Tender Process complete.
• Templeshannon Regeneration Planning Process underway
• Greenway projects Being advanced through Planning.
In presenting the draft Budget to the Council, Chief Executive Tom Enright described its preparation as a complex process that seeks to balance the need for on-going support and development of local services in the county with the urgent need to deliver Wexford County Council’s ambitious Economic & Community Development programme and to address the proper provision of social, private and affordable housing. He thanked all the staff of the Council for their work in preparing the budget with particular thanks to Annette O’Neill, Head of Finance and her team.
Mr. Enright commended the Elected Members on their recent decision to retain Local Property Tax rates at 2018 levels and their decision in 2017 to increase commercial rates by 3% from 2018.
“These decisions have placed Wexford County Council in a strong position to progress plans and proposals to achieve and deliver real positive economic growth in the county” said Mr. Enright, “We can already see a welcome increase in economic activity during 2018 and I fully expect this progress to continue throughout 2019 and beyond. Wexford County Council will continue to support and actively encourage economic development and to attract and maximise economic investment and create greater employment opportunities for our citizens and a better quality of life for all” he added.