In a similar vein to Derry and Strabane Council, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council confirmed on Thursday night that it will increase rates by 3% for 2018/19.
The Council has described the increase as falling in line with inflation.
The domestic district rate (paid by residents) for 2018/19 will be 0.3488p – a rise of 3%. This represents an increase of 93p per month on the district rate element of the rates bill for the average household (domestic ratepayer) within the Fermanagh and Omagh District Council area.
The non-domestic district rate (paid by businesses) will be 21.3348p – a rise of 3%. This represents an increase of £8.54 per month on the district rate element of the rates bill for the average business (non-domestic ratepayer).
The overall rates bill combines the district rate set by councils and the regional rate, set by central government. With Stormont still in a state of collapse, the final amount owed in rates bills cannot yet be determined.
Last year saw the regional rate set by an Act of Parliament in April 2017, which allowed rates bills for 2017/18 to be sent out.
The regional rate, which forms the bulk of rates bills, funds services such as roads; education; health provision; emergency services; law and order; social services and community development.
The district rate pays for local council services including: Refuse collection and recycling; leisure and recreation; building control and planning; tourism and events; community services; economic development and environmental health. It is also used to invest in capital and infrastructure projects within the district.
During the 2018/19 financial year, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council says it has plans to invest more than £10m in capital and infrastructure projects within the district. However some of the projects are dependent on securing funding from sources external to the Council.
PLANNED PROJECTS INCLUDE:
Improving and enhancing access to the countryside to include lakes and forests (£1m).
Village Renewal Scheme to renew and develop 15 villages across the district (£745k of total project cost £1.2m).
Refurbishment and upgrade of community centres and facilities across the district (£420k).
Improvements to recycling facilities (£900k) and development of Drummee landfill site (£250k).
Works to transform former football pitch at St Julian’s Road, Omagh into an attractive open space for the local community (£270k of total project cost £320k).
First phase of roll out of new road name signage across the district, to include road names and townlands (£425k).
Upgrades to sports pitches, play areas, public conveniences, general cemetery works and car parks (£840k).
Completion of Omagh Riverside Walk development (£900k of total project cost £1.2m).
First phase of Enniskillen Public Realm Scheme (£150k of a total project cost of £5.2m).
Refurbishment to Council buildings to consolidate the number of administrative buildings and to improve access and customer experience (£1.05m).
A £33.3m net revenue budget (£45m gross) has also been allocated to deliver Council services across the district.
In a statement, Fermanagh and Omagh District Council said, “The district rate was agreed following an extensive and robust financial planning exercise overseen by the Council’s Estimates Working Group.
“The Council agreed its new rate on the basis of minimising the impact on ratepayers while continuing to invest in local infrastructure and to deliver high quality value for money services, whilst at the same time, taking into account a range of factors that will impact on Council budgets such as changes in the current operating environment and uncertainty around the availability of Central Government funding.”