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4% hike in rates planned for Buncrana 09.01.08

Story: Inishowen Independent

A 4% increase in commercial rates is on the cards for businesses in Buncrana when local councillors meet for the Town Council’s annual budget meeting in the town tonight.
And while it seems as if the proposed increase of 5% by the Donegal County Council whose budget meeting will be held on Friday could meet with some stiff opposition, it is unclear if the proposed increase will meet with similar opposition in Buncrana. With the final closure of Fruit of the Loom the council has over recent years lost its major source of commercial rates. But according to local councillor Padraig MacLochlainn there seems to have been extra investment in funding for the council. “We put in an application for extra funding because of the loss of Fruit of the Loom and in fairness there seems to have been extra investment there,” he said.
Cllr. MacLochlainn meanwhile said while the issue of on-street parking has been in the headlines over the past few weeks, it would be ten years at least before there would be any profit for the council from the charges.
“All of the money from the charges will be re-invested in car parking and we will be working to ensure that the issues raised since the charges were introduced are addressed.”
Cllr. MacLochlainn said that members were aware of a number of issues that have arisen in recent weeks over the parking charges.
“I think it is fair to say that all of the members are aware that there have been problems, but we will work to try to address these as soon as we can. As long as the core issue of maintaining spaces in the heart of the town and allowing a free flow of traffic through the town is not compromised I would say that all solutions to the problems that have arisen will be looked at.”
The Sinn Féin councillor said he hoped that affordable long-term parking for the town’s workers would be available as soon as possible.
“The key message is that people should not think that councillors have imposed a system and said 'that is that', we will continue to try and improve the situation in the town and look at suggestions that will help alleviate problems,” he added.
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