The last budget of Dundalk Town Council features a drop in the all-day parking charge from €3 to €2 and €20,000 will be allocated towards the promtion of Giro d’Italia which will hold a special stage in the town, the only one of its kind in the country.
Next year will see the dissolution of all town councils, but County Manager Philomena Poole has assured the present council that the Town Hall will still provide the services and the contact the people of the town need.
She told councillors that the cutbacks in local government have created their difficulties, but it is an opportunity for change.
And to help reduce the cost to business in the town there will be a decrease of up to two per cent in rates for 2014.
Among the changes planned are a new council meeting administration system so that councillors can make submissions on-line and have easier access to information.
This digital strategy will be useful as departments in the county’s different councils start to merge before next year’s local government transformation.
The total budget for 2014 is €25m.
On 1 January the water services in Louth will transfer to the new Irish Water Company, and this company will charge all customers for the service.
Water metres will be installed by the middle of next year. Universal charging will apply from 2015.
County Manager Philomena Poole said Louth local authorities will continue to operate the water service for 12 years “to ensure safe and efficient supply of water services to the public”.
A transition plan has been put in place. Louth Local Authorities will set up a new customer relations management system next year. Louth local Authority will have a service level agreement with Irish Water. Cllr Mark Dearey pointed out that the Dublin City Manager has laid out his own reservations about transferring the water service to Irish Water. Town Clerk Frank Pentony said the agreement with Irish Water guarantees a service level for the next 12 years.
Councillors cut their allowance for conferences abroad from €5,000 to €2,500 on a proposal from Cllr Marie Ann Butler.
Cllr Butler said that the reduced allocation would be enough.