Donegal County Council passes annual budget

Donegal County Council today passed its annual revenue budget which will cover day-to-day spending of more than €155m for the year ahead.

Meanwhile, the council’s three-year capital budget — which covers large, non-day-to-day items — will be considered next week.

The highlights of the €155.3m budget agreed today include repeating expenditure provisions for road maintenance and works to council houses, both budget headings that were increased in recent years;

The budget also sees the introduction of a €700,000 fund for 2021 to develop tourism infrastructure and to help prime the tourism and hospitality sector, with a particular emphasis on attracting ‘staycationing’ visitors to the county.

Speaking to Ocean FM News, tourism and infrastructure were two areas that the cathaoirleach of the Donegal Municipal District, Cllr Micheal Naughton, highlighted as particularly important to his area in the south of the county.

Provision is also made for the creation of a dedicated Greenways Development Team to bring forward ‘shovel-ready’ greenway projects.

There’s a range of economic development measures across the county, including initiatives to attract inward investment, promote Donegal products and services, and provide supports to existing businesses and start-ups.

A €100,000 Special Biodiversity Initiative, with a focus on addressing the actions of the All-Ireland Pollinator Plan, is to be introduced.

The council is maintaining its support for leisure centres, theatres, ferry services, cultural facilities, parks and open spaces, and flagship tourism destinations.

There are additional monies to co-fund housing adaption and mobility improvements in houses to provide for €2.5m of works.

Cathaoirleach Rena Donaghy said the spending of the €155.3m budget in 2021 will reach all corners of the County.