Council plan to spend €268m with focus on local business housing

By Aideen O'Flaherty

SOUTH Dublin County Council plans to spend €268m in the county in 2021, with a particular focus on local businesses that have been impacted by the pandemic and the construction of housing developments, according to the council’s Draft Annual Budget for 2021.

Since the pandemic began in March, over nine months’ rates support has been provided to over 6,000 impacted businesses, to the value of €54m, and the council’s general fee income associated with economic activity reduced by €1.5m within the same period.

SDCC building 1

South Dublin County Council look to spend €268m in 2021

The council stated that 2021 will require “continued economic stabilisation measures”, including “significant capital investment to support employment and position the economy for a swift recovery in the short term.”

The draft budget assumes that there will be no increase in ARV or Commercial Rates Multiplier next year, that local property tax will be reduced by 15 per cent, and that 80 per cent of the local property tax collected in 2021 will be allocated to South Dublin.

It is also noted that the financial support scheme for small and medium businesses should continue through 2021.

In terms of arts activities, full funding will be maintained for the South Dublin Arts Office, The Civic Theatre, Rua Red, Music Generation and the Creative Ireland Programme, including Cruinniú na nÓg.

“A lot of consideration is being given to moving performances and presentations online and outdoors, to help sustain this important sector and provide our communities with much needed access to arts activities and performances,” the council stated.

As in previous years, the bulk of the council’s budget will be spent on housing and building, with a total expenditure of €95,183,900 being ringfenced for these works in 2021 – showing an increase of over €8m compared to last year.

Across all project types, investment of €430,000,000 in housing is expected in projects due to commence next year, including housing schemes at Riversdale, Homeville, St Catherine’s, Templeogue Village, Greenfort Gardens, Old Bawn, Nangor Road and Balgaddy.

In terms of the council’s current major housing projects, work on the extensive Kilcarbery development is due to commence by the end of this year, the housing development at Killinarden is currently at tender stage, and the award for the design of Clonburris Phase 1 will be awarded in the coming weeks.

Other divisions of the council which will have significant expenditure according to the draft budget include recreation and amenity, totalling €43.2m, environmental services will receive €39.8m, while €33.6m has been ringfenced for road transport and safety.

The council’s miscellaneous services are expected to receive €20.7m, €20.1m is for development management, €13.6m is for water services, while the lowest rate, of just over €1.5m, is set to go on agriculture, education, health and welfare.

The draft budget will be considered by councillors at the Statutory Annual Budget Meeting this Thursday, November 26.

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