A FINANCIAL boost is set to be given to ratepayers across the Borough after it emerged that Dungannon Council is expected not to raise rates for a fourth year running.
For the past three years, the council has been the only one in Northern Ireland to set the rates hike at zero percent. The rates are due to be ratified at Monday night’s monthly meeting of the council chamber.
It is the first time in the history of local government in Northern Ireland that the rates have not changed over a four-year period.
This year’s rates freeze was achieved in spite of the council bringing forward a range of regeneration measures and investment across the borough.
Over the past year, the council has introduced a package which included retaining existing services and a programme to deliver the Local Economic Development Plan schemes and the direct Capital investment in Castlehill, the public realm and the 7 rural village schemes.
The council’s £5.2 million capital scheme on
Castlehill was successfully completed and opened to the public in September.
The project incorporated the renovation and extension of Ranfurly House to include exhibition
areas, galleries, 180 seat studio, arts workshops, flexible community facilities and the gardens will become a landscaped park interpreting the heritage of the site.
The Town Centre Public Realm Scheme (led by the council with DSD financial support) will also deliver a £2.1 million facelift to Dungannon town with planned completion in mid 2013.
However, ratepayers should be warned that while the locally-set element of rates is expected not to rise, there may be a hike coming through in the regional component.