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A DROP in rates, an estimated e28,000 euro from pay-parking profits, and an increase in funding for residents associations, are just some of the points to emerge from the annual budget for Ardee Town Council.

A DROP in rates, an estimated e28,000 euro from pay-parking profits, and an increase in funding for residents associations, are just some of the points to emerge from the annual budget for Ardee Town Council.

The budget details were announced by Ms Bernie Woods, Head of Finance Louth County Council, and Mr Joe McGuinness, Director of Services.

The contributions from the council to residents’ associations will increase from e1,300 euro to e5,000 euro.

There will also be allocations for such events as The Turfman Festival and the Halloween fireworks night and an increase from e3,000 euro to e5,000 euro for Christmas lights costs.

The proposed changes in the pay-parking by-laws are currently going through the due process.

Ms Woods pointed out that whatever new pay-parking regulations are finally adopted the new scheme must generate e28,000 euro profit otherwise the council will have to cutback on proposed schemes.

These schemes are related to plans to make Ardee one of the first Age-Friendly towns in the country.

The schemes would involve providing better public facilities for senior members of the community and developing stronger links between older and younger generations.

Cllr Finnan McCoy wanted expenses for conferences donated towards the St Patrick’s Day Parade.

Cllr Jim Tenanty pointed out that the town council is obliged to be a member of the Association of Municipal Authorities of Ireland (AMAI).

So it was agreed to adopt the budget, leaving the use of conference money optional, with the exception of the fee that has to be paid to the AMAI.

All the councillors welcomed the additional allowances.

Cllr Fintan Malone was concerned that new parking regulations would hinder people from shopping in the town.