€88 million will be spent over the coming year.
Laois County Council will spend €88 million in the coming year.
The budget plan announced by the local authority this afternoon is an increase of €9.5 million on 2020 and is the biggest annual spend in the county's history.
It was unanimously supported by councillors at a meeting in Dunamaise Arts Centre.
Where is the money going?
€1.3 million is allocated to local roads maintenance, while €270,000 will be spent retrofitting council housing.
Some of the other big spends will include €1.84 million on council house maintenance, nearly €1.9 million on library services, and €1.5m on enterprise, jobs and innovation.
A total of €8.1 million will be spent on roads across the county, €21.2 million on public lighting, and €3.4 million on water services.
The rates waiver for hospitality businesses is also being extended for another year.
Fine Gael councilor and Cathaoirleach Conor Bergin says the plan welcomed by councilors:
Where is the money coming from?
Almost half (46.1%) of Laois' 2022 budget will come from government grants to the tune of €40 million.
That's followed by nearly €24 million from goods and services (27%).
The local property tax brings in over €9 million (10.3%) and commercial rates €14.66 million (16.6%).
"Backdrop of uncertainty"
County council chief executive John Mulholland said there was "backdrop of uncertainty" in preparing the 2022 budget, as the country recovers from the impact of the pandemic:
“The uncertainty stems from a number of factors, such as the future trajectory of the virus and its impact on local economic and social well-being, the capacity of the council to generate additional income from traditional sources of revenue, the ongoing impacts of Brexit and constraints on the central government purse.”
Councillor James Kelly and other councillors also called for a big push in trying to attract more industry to the county, as Laois has the third lowest commercial rates income in Ireland, after Leitrim and Longford.
Cllr. Kelly's proposal for a special task force on this issue will be on the agenda of the council's monthly meeting on 29th November.