If you’re wishing that your neighbourhood streets were a bit cleaner, the walls more colourful, the dog poo less prevalent, you might be in with a bit of luck.
Dublin City Council just got a pot of €3 million in extra funding from the Department of Environment, Community and Local Government for this year.
The origins of the money are dry. In brief, the valuation office revalued properties owned by public utilities like Eir, ESB and An Post for the purposes of paying commercial rates to Dublin City Council, as well as other local authorities.
And it panned out that Dublin City Council gets more money.
The valuation office, which is within the Department of Environment, decided late to compensate each local authority, says Ruairí McGinley, chair of Dublin City Council’s finance strategic policy committee.
This last-minute decision was unexpected, and though the council had already assigned its 2016 budget, the increase in funding was welcomed.
So, there’s more dosh to spend.
The council decided the best way to distribute this extra money would be to split it equally between the discretionary funds of each of the five area committees, increasing them all to over €900,000. Last year, it was just €290,000.
City councillors will now decide how it should be spent in their local communities.
What Might You Get?
So far the South-East area committee is the only one that has decided how to spend its budget. Councillors there settled it on Monday.
Among the goodies: intensive street washing in commercial spaces throughout the area (€90,000), an extension of the art-on-traffic-signal-boxes project (€15,000), public-realm enhancement between George’s Street and Dame Lane with improved bicycle facilities (€30,000), Canalaphonic arts and culture festival (€10,000) and the Ranelagh Arts Festival (€8,000).
Independent councillor Ruairi McGinley said he was happy to see €50,000 for Herzog Park in Rathgar feature on the budget. The parks division of the council will be matching this sum.
It’s been a long time coming, says McGinley. “We couldn’t do everything, but have an idea of what to do in 2017.”
The budget also includes financial support for many other community events, village projects and improvement works for roads and housing complexes.
In the council’s four other area committees, preliminary discussions have taken place, but final decisions will be made at this month’s area committee meetings, before they are finally passed by the whole council at March’s monthly meeting.
In the North Central area, Sinn Féin councillor Ciaran O’Moore says they’ve been debating how to divvy up the windfall, and he has his eye on a defibrillator and training for the Raheny Community First-Responder group, a clock for the centre of Donnycarney village and funding for Clontarf Boat Club to take young adults out sailing and fishing.
Also, he would like money to go toward a project to save Irish Republican Thomas Clarke’s house at 31 Richmond Avenue in Fairview.