The devil was in the detail of the draft 2018-2020 capital budget supplied to members at last Monday’s full council meeting.
The document, produced by the local authority’s finance director, Martin Prendiville, stated: “Consideration will also have to be given to prioritizing certain projects given the funding constraints.”
Now, that’s a decision that no local councillor wants to make. The capital budget is a comprehensive and ambitious plan. It’s a plan you’d want from your local authority for a thriving county like Kilkenny.
It includes €1.5m towards a new Urlingford Fire Station - which one local councillor first looked for ten years ago. The there’s the €2.4m from the Council’s coffers for the new Butler Gallery at the Evan’s Home site.
A sum of €200,000 will also be paid from local resources to a regeneration project at the Fairgreen in Callan. In all, €2.8m of local funding will go to roads as well.
There’s €1m to be spent from local resources for mobility management, smarter travel and parking in the City. That’s naming just a few. Delivering on this ambition is essential to Kilkenny.
Unemployment is at 7.3% in the South-East, which is suspected to be much lower in Kilkenny as that percentage includes Waterford City, according to Cathaoirleach of Kilkenny County Council, David Fitzgerald. People are getting back to work.
There’s optimism in the county and through careful management of the capital budget, Kilkenny can benefit from the fruits of a thriving economy.
It all hinges on the appropriate infrastructure and developments being put in place or upgraded.
The Council’s €10.1m contribution to the budget may have to increase, it’s up to the executive and elected representatives to find the solution to that problem.
With local elections around the corner in 2019, you can be sure the people of Kilkenny will be keeping an eye on what’s delivered on in their locality. Prioritizing certain projects might save money, but it’ll cost votes.