*Cllr Gerry Flynn. Photograph: Eamon Ward
A Shannon councillor has warned that public projects in the county will be impacted due to an expected “severe” Clare County Council budget for 2021.
An acceleration of spending of the 2020 General Municipal Allocation (GMA) was requested by Cllr Gerry Flynn (IND) at a recent meeting of the Shannon Municipal District. Explaining the appeal to “fast-track” the disbursement, he outlined, “the new budgetary process for 2021 may be a severe challenge for resourcing public services”. Cllr Michael Begley (IND) seconded the proposal.
Reference to the impact of flooding in February and the COVID-19 response, senior executive engineer Aidan O’Rourke acknowledged, “our grant works are scheduled to run to the end of November with GMA works commencing thereafter”. He flagged that the Shannon MD road staff had “a significantly increased volume of works”.
If an earlier opportunity arises to complete the works, the GMA projects will be completed, O’Rourke said. “GMA funding for 2020 is ring fenced and will carry forward to 2021 and remain assigned to each councillor as is the current case,” he added.
“Acquiring additional monies is going to be a battle,” Cllr Flynn cautioned. He expected that the Clare public would still be paying the same level of property tax regardless of changes made to the Council’s budget. “It is important that most of those works are completed by the end of the year,” the Miltown Malbay native commented.