CO COUNCIL MAKES €800,000 COMMITMENT TO NEW MONAGHAN THEATRE PROJECT

22 July 2011 No Comments by The Northern Standard

Monaghan Co Council at a special meeting on Tuesday morning voted by 18-0 in favour of a proposal by Co Mayor Seamus Coyle, seconded by Pádraig McNally, to sanction a financial contribution of €800,000 to the new Garage Theatre planned as part of the forthcoming Monaghan Education Campus development being undertaken by Co Monaghan Vocational Education Committee at Knockaconny.
The decision means that a €200,000 contribution to the theatre this year will be followed by a €400,000 contribution in 2012 and a final €200,000 payment in 2013.
On Brian McKenna’s proposal on Monday, it was also agreed to convene a meeting of the Council’s Corporate Policy Group next week to ascertain where savings can be made to realise the additional €125,000 the Council will devote to the project in 2011, having already made a provision of €75,000 for the purpose in their Budget.
The members also requested Acting Co Manager David Fallon to meet with the Chief Executive Officer of Co Monaghan Vocational Education Committee Martin G O’Brien in advance of the CPG meeting to clarify a number of issues over which the Acting Manager had expressed concern during the course of the three hour debate which preceded Tuesday’s substantial funding commitment.
Mr Fallon had reminded the members of the Council’s difficult budgetary situation and had asked for clarification on where savings could be made to fund the contribution. He also pointed out that any borrowings the Council might in the future undertake to realise the funding would have to get Dept of Finance approval, and that the contribution could not be facilitated by means of overdraft.
The general view of the members was that it would be possible to make savings and adjustments in the Council’s annual €60 million Budget that would obviate the necessity to seek borrowings, loans or overdraft accommodation. However, councillors felt the exact means by which the funding could be obtained could not be determined until the matter was considered by the CPG, who would make recommendations in this regard to the September meeting of the Council.
At the outset of Tuesday’s business, a ten-minute adjournment was granted to the Co Councillors who were VEC members to discuss what the Co Mayor described as “certain issues”.
Following this, Colr John O’Brien, who is Chairman of the VEC, told the meeting that a decision had been taken by the majority of the VEC members on the Co Council to propose that the discussion be held ‘in committee’, but that the eventual decision would be made public.
Colr O’Brien made this proposal formally and David Maxwell seconded. After some debate, nine members voted in favour of the ‘in committee’ proposal, but Meetings Administrator Carmel Thornton pointed out that this wasn’t sufficient for it to be carried. The debate then proceeded in public.
Full story in The Northern Standard

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