Laois County Council have tightened their belts to the tune of €6 million for 2014, budgeting a spend of €53.9 million for the coming year.
It was termed ‘a perfect budget’ by several county councillors at the budget meeting last Friday, many of whom were delighted to see a new €90,000 budget for minor road repairs around the county.
“If I didn’t know better I would say this was an election budget, such is the good news,” said Cllr James Deegan.
County Manager Peter Carey said the past five years have been “very challenging”.
“We have significantly reduced costs, while maintaining frontline services. We have taken big hits, and tried to concentrate on roads, housing and tourism,” he said.
For the sixth year, development rates for businesses will not be raised.
“A third of businesses pay less than €1,000 a year, or just €20 a week. The top forty business pay 50 percent of the rate intake of €5million, such as Eircom, ESB and the toll bridge,” Mr Carey said.
There were 113 council houses made energy efficient this year, with €483,000 set aside for a similar amount in 2014. €50,000 has been budgeted for new library books and €100,000 to maintain Laois’ 17 playgrounds.