Mid Ulster District Council has held its district rate rise to below inflation at 1.49%.
At a meeting this evening (Monday 11 February), the Council agreed the new district rate which equates to an increase of approximately 50p per month for an average ratepayer*.
Despite continuing to operate in a climate which has seen no let-up in financial pressures, the Council has absorbed costs and applied efficiency savings to its budget to reduce the impact on local residents.
While retaining the same high quality services and facilities, the in-coming year will also see the Council continuing to deliver its capital programme, valued at over £70m, with projects spanning investment in town centre regeneration, village renewal, leisure upgrades and tourism.
The multi-million pound capital programme includes a £3.3m major public realm scheme for Coalisland to transform the town centre with new footways, parking and loading bays, stone kerbing, street furniture and tree planting, as well as improved lighting, drainage, traffic flow and parking. The project is largely funded by the Department for Communities with support funding from Council.
As well as embarking on a substantial re-fit and re-equipment of leisure centre gyms and spin studios, Dungannon Leisure Centre is to benefit from a £1.5m injection for refurbishment work.
Work to create the £1.25m Davagh Dark Skies Observatory and Visitor Centre, the only one of its kind in Northern Ireland, will also begin in 2019.
The new star-gazing experience, to include a visitor centre, complete with a virtual reality exhibition and telescope, is sited close to the ancient Beaghmore Stone Circles, and will give visitors a unique opportunity to experience the night sky without light pollution.
Following confirmation of a funding offer of £5m from the EU’s PEACE IV Programme, managed by the Special EU Programmes Body, the transformative ‘Connecting Pomeroy’ project, will also begin this year.
The scheme is ambitious and multi-faceted, enhancing the look and feel of the centre of the village, creating a suite of new community facilities, and boosting outdoor and cross-border opportunities through the development of an iconic ‘magic forest’, will also begin in 2019.
Investment in communities will continue through the implementation of village regeneration plans, which are making real and tangible differences to communities across Mid Ulster.
Incorporating play park schemes, environmental improvements and enhanced community facilities, a total of 37 village renewal projects are being delivered across a 2 year period, representing £2.15m of capital investment under the Rural Development Programme.