Local Fine Gael State Minister MP Peter Burke has announced that he has confirmed an additional € 200,000 investment from his department for what he says are key projects that will benefit the people of Athlone and its surroundings.
“We have all had another difficult year, and while the government has had difficult decisions to make, it is imperative that we respond to the difficult environment and continue to invest in local amenities to support communities, families and communities. businesses when we ask them to make huge personal sacrifices.
“Through my ministry, I have sought additional funds for key local projects. Athlone Tidy Towns does a fantastic job on a voluntary basis throughout the year, and they are looking for additional help for specific projects that I got a grant for. There will be work done at Ranelagh Way in Athlone that requires clearing old trees, opening up the river view, and installing an archway as a gateway to the promenade which will be a terrific new landscaping for visitors. local residents.
“Athlone town center will be enhanced with new pollinator-friendly planters to be installed in premises along Church Street, Northgate Street, Custume Place and Lloyds Lane.
“I have allocated Westmeath County Council an additional € 30,000 for Christmas lights to be installed in our main towns of Athlone and Mullingar. Merchants and retailers as well as our many hotel businesses have had another tough year in terms of revenue, and I know we are all doing our best to buy locally and support them now in their busiest times.
“Lights create a more positive atmosphere in the city and help us immerse ourselves in the Christmas spirit and feel more secure when shopping. The Athlone Festivals and Events Project group has requested to renew and repair the old lighting stock to put it back into service at Christmas for the benefit of the city and they will also receive a grant to support them in carrying out their community work.
“Separately, a cafe at the Streamstown Greenway station will now be funded by funding, which will see the site’s old historic building renovated and brought back into service. Outdoor activities play an important role in our lives and we have seen new cafes appear to provide refreshments along popular hiking routes. The Green Lane is a fantastic convenience and the new Streamstown Cafe will support cyclists and walkers alike.
“There are brand new publicly funded toilets at the old Streamstown train station as well as a large parking lot, and the Streamstown Tidy local towns committee has done a fantastic job of asking for all available funds to maintain the site of the old station in perfect condition.
“These projects are all small when taken in isolation, but together they can provide support to our communities and ensure that we can come out and feel safe and supported.
“I have also extended the tariff exemption, so that the companies most affected by the pandemic will not have to pay commercial tariffs again. This has been in place since April 2020 and will now carry companies until April 2022, while the Council will receive the full endowment usually due to them from tariffs, with a total for 2021 of 497 million d ‘euros.
“I have taken the decision, with the approval of the government, to reimburse our councils for the loss of income resulting from the reduction in public parking prices, for a total of 61 million euros. Our local authorities continue to provide key local services to citizens, and we have provided them with sufficient funding this year to ensure there are no cuts in services.
“I hope this year our community can enjoy Christmas with our loved ones. It is the government’s job to protect our people and manage crises and while tough decisions must be made around COVID 19, the government must also help communities manage those decisions, whether through business support, Covid-19 payments or local services and amenities, ”Deputy Burke concluded.