COUNTY HALL'S accounts for 2019 were distributed to councillors this week detailing a strong financial position in 2019, although some challenges are anticipated for the year ahead.
An income of €340,395,803 was recorded in 2019, which, after expenditure, resulted in a surplus of €63,542.
This money was added to the revenue reserve which then rose from €7,388,624 to €7,452,166.
The accounts stated that due to “continuous budgetary control monitoring” during the year, alongside maximisation of income, there was a significant reduction from the budgeted loss of €3.09m.
The documents cited the 1.2% increase in rates collection, as a key driver of increased funds.
According to the financial report, the council’s decision not to vary the base rate of the Local Property Tax for 2019 was “welcome” and brought a number of benefits such as increased funding for enhancement to public realm and infrastructure in villages (€0.5m) as well as enhanced public space/town approach maintenance programming (€1.1m) and other schemes.
It was noted in the report that there was an increased emphasis on social housing programme, road infrastructure, along with the increased importance of recreation and amenity investment, public realm enhancement and biodiversity initiatives.
The accounts also stated that there was a significant level of debt for the Countil in relation to land loans, asset loans, finance loans and other such schemes.
In summary, the documents stated it was an “exceptional” year for Cork County Council and the overall financial outcome for 2019 had been “robust.” The report also mentioned anticipation of a negative financial impact from the Covid pandemic, which would influence the budget for 2021.
The local authority said the position was being “monitored closely.”