NEW ROSS BUSINESSES INFORMED OF COUNCIL’S RATES HIKE PLAN
DOUBLE WHAMMY OF RATES HIKES SHOCKS BUSINESS OWNERS IN TOWN, BUT INCENTIVES OFFER RELIEF. DAVID LOOBY REPORTS
PLANS to increase rates in line with other towns in the county and the rural New Ross district shocked town businesspeople at a meeting in the Dunbrody Visitor Centre on Tuesday night.
In presentations by senior Wexford County Council officials, around 40 local business owners were told that there are plans to increase the rates payable to the maximum limit in 2018, instead of incremental rates hikes being applied over the next seven years. To soften the blow Head Of Finance Annette O’Neill said a Rates Incentive Scheme will be applied of 15 per cent.
Chaired by President of New Ross Chamber of Commerce John McSweeney, the meeting began with a presentation by District Director Eamon Hore on investment planned in the town over the coming months and years by the local authority, the Government and Fáilte Ireland.
Mr Hore said the new ring road will significantly impact the town for the betterment. ‘It’s a fascinating feat of engineering. New Ross is moving closer to everywhere with better access to Dublin, Waterford and Cork which will help enterprise and employment. There will be no way people on this road won’t know where New Ross is,’ he said.
Mr Hore said several areas of the town are being developed, from the High Hill to the Great New Ross Riverside Walk. He said the marina has had a €400,000 facelift and walking tours are planned for the town.
‘New Ross will become the key Norman town in the country. There will be brass plaques like on the Freedom Trail in Boston and we will be promoting the Greatest Knight William Marshall story. St Mary’s has been developed. It was the biggest parish church in the country when it was built.’
Mr Hore said the Waterford to New Ross Greenway is mired in planning but said it will happen.
A river cruise to Waterford is due to take place and coupled with the Greenway, New Ross will become an acitivity hub in the region, he added.
Mr Hore said the waste water treatment plant has 9,000 uses a day and has a capacity for 16,000, adding that Gas Networks Ireland will have a spur supplying natural gas into the town by 2020.
The opening of JD North’s and Euro Home on North Street was welcomed, along with the opening of other businesses in the town. ‘ There is interest in Sports Savers and Wexford businessman Michael Hayes - who has invested heavily in New Ross - said New Ross is one of the best provincial towns in Ireland to invest in.’
He welcomed the opening of the Kennedy Boutique Hotel, describing its owner’s clever linking in with the Kennedy name. He also praised John Murphy for his purchase of the Docks Hotel, which is due to open its doors in March. ‘Presently there are 79 hotel beds in New Ross, at the Brandon House Hotel, which is holding us back from a Fáilte Ireland point of view. The Kennedy Boutique Hotel and apartments will add 83 to this number and there will be 10 beds in The Docks.’
As of 2014 New Ross is in the lowest 10 per cent of Ireland’s 88 rating authorities.
He said the tearing down of the Albatros site is an important development for the town, adding that with the bypass positive land values and uses should arise. ‘ The community must capitalise on the changes the bypass will bring,’ he concluded.
NEW ROSS WILL BECOME THE KEY NORMAN TOWN IN THE COUNTRY. THERE WILL BE BRASS PLAQUES LIKE ON THE FREEDOM TRAIL IN BOSTON