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

New Ross Standard - - FRONT PAGE -

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

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