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Municipal Meeting Round-Up: Tenanty wants Rate Collector return

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The Mid-Louth Civic Services Centre in Ardee, photographed in Ardee. Photo Credit: Adrian Crawley.
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This article originally appeared on ThisIsArdee.ie

We were at the July meeting of the Ardee Municipal District committee in Ardee last Thursday. This week, we told you about the discussions had regarding Old Dawsons Demesne and Castle Guard, calls for distance measures at the Fair Green walking path and discussions about compiling a list of local defibrillators. Here’s a quick round-up of the rest of the local stories brought up.

Ardee Water Treatment Plant

Work was supposed to get underway on it’s upgrade at the end of June but work has not yet begun. It is due to now start this week. Councillor Jim Tenanty informed his colleagues that they would each receive an e-mail when the works start.

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IDA Meeting

At the June meeting, it was decided that Ardee Municipal District councillors were to write to the IDA to request a meeting with the agency in relation to attracting Foreign Direct Investment to the town. Louth County Council informed the councillors on Thursday that they had heard nothing back from the IDA as of yet.

Pedestrian Crossing

Councillor Dolores Minogue sought an update on a potential relocation of the pedestrian crossing on Castle Street in Ardee. Tenanty said that progress depended on whether “funding was available and a relocation spot was agreed by everybody, but I don’t think that was done.

Council engineer Sean O’Reilly told the committee; “We can look at alternatives. If you move it south, you move it too close to the Castle one. We can look at an alternative site but there is no funding for it at the moment.”

Mattress Collection

Tenanty tabled a motion at the meeting on Thursday asking for Louth County Council to consider holding a mattress collection in the area, perhaps annually. He was told the local authority do not have the resources – be it staff or financial to do it. They say it is a matter for the householder and mattresses can be disposed of at recycling centres in Dundalk or Drogheda.

“Our facility in the Mid-Louth area is nil. It’s going to get worse,” Tenanty said. “Mattresses are a scourge. Every gateway on the N2 is a dumping ground for mattresses. They are becoming impossible to get rid of. If we had a recycling point once a year, people could bring them.”

Colm Markey felt that most people would be happy to pay the minimum cost to get rid of them. “It could be done in conjunction with the plastic collection,” he added.

Pearse McGeough felt the disposal of sofas was an issue too while Dolores Minogue said, “It just goes to show the huge loss of V&W in the area.”

Rates Collector

In another Tenanty motion, he urged Louth County Council to reintroduce a rates collector into the town, as opposed to a new Rates Sheriff that could be introduced as part of new amendments to rates legislation. A Rates Sheriff would be required to move to collect debts owed immediately.

“I thought this being a small community – and we had a rate collector – and the compliance when we has in office was near 90%,” Tenanty said. “I thought this proposal was very heavy handed. The introduction of a Rates Sheriff is not what business wants.”

“A submission could go forward to the Dept that a Rates Collector be introduced instead of a Rates Sheriff. This is a suggestion rather than an Rates Sheriff come in and take your property, we have a mediator who will take a bit and then another bit,” the councillor said.

It was agreed that Louth CoCo will write to the relevant Govt Dept, with all present councillors agreeing with the moiton. “It’s a draconian measure which I wouldn’t support. It’s a good motion,” Pearse McGeough said.

Dolores Minogue added, “I support it. It definitely works. Sinn Fein councillor Tom Cunningham said, “The one word that jumps out is local. If you have a local person, it’s information coming back. They know who can pay, can’t pay or won’t pay. Personalised and local is a big thing.”

Colm Markey, recently elected as the new chair of Louth County Council said, “Back in the day, rate collector rates were as high as they were now. I think we should put a rates collector in an area as a pilot. The truth is since we got rid of them, rates collected have gone down. I’d be more than happy to bring it to senior management.”

Refuse Collection Sham

Cllr Tenanty also used the meeting to highlight the issue of  a Facebook “racket” in which “so called refuse collectors” are offering a service only to fly-tip the rubbish they collect for cash.

Housing

In the meeting’s housing report, Aoife Lawlor told assembled councillors that “Castle Guard will be delivered upon on this year” while she said the further Oaklee development on Tierney Street “is progressing”.

She also said, “At this stage, we will have reduced the housing list in this Municipal District to two years – as opposed to eight or nine in Dundalk and Drogheda.”

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