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Rates increased by 1.37 per-cent for Omagh homes

RATEPAYERS in the Fermanagh and Omagh area will have bills increasing from a range of £3.77 to £20.10 during the 2021-2022 financial year.

The Council agreed a 1.37 per-cent increase in the domestic rate for 50,000 properties when it held its  special meeting last night (Thursday).

The rise in the amount being paid is based on the capital value of properties. For a property valued at £75,000, the increase will be £3.77, those with a property valued at £150,000 will pay £7.54 more, the figure is £10.05 for a proprtty valued at £200,000 and £20.10 for pone valued at £400,000.

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The money raised by the domestic rates will be used to help fund a range of services provided by the Council.

Waste and recycling services amount for the largest share at £9.5 million, expenditure on parks and open spaces will account for £5.4 million, which is a one per-cent increase on 2020-2021.

An increase of 112 per-cent has bene projected for building control and licensing, where the amount of ecxpenditure is project to go up to £749,000.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has resulted in a number of large increases in budget for areas especially affected.

Leisure, recreation and sports area see a 36 per-cent increase to £4.1 million following the loss of £1.3 million in income during 2020 and the first part of 2021.

An extra £224,000 has been allocated to planning, bringing the total expenditure there to £1 million.

A total of £38 million is expected to be spent on council services overall, representing a 5.3 per-cent increase on last year. £13 million of this figure going towards the its capital plan. More than £6 million of this figure is subject to grant aid.

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The figures were finalised following four separate meetings of councillors during recent months.

Celine McCartan, director of corporate services and governance explained that the pandemic has had a ‘significant impact’ on the Council’s operations and its financial affairs during the past year.

She said there is no indication of when all income levels will return to the pre-pandemic level.

As a result of this the Council has set aside a Covid-contingency reserve which will total approximately £1.6 million at the end of the financial year next month.

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