Model's future in jeopardy following auditor's report
Fears about the ability of The Model Arts and Niland Gallery Limited to continue as a going concern has been expressed in an auditor's report.
Mention of the company was made in the Auditors Report on the finances of the Borough Council's finances for year ending 31st December 2012.
Local Government Auditor Raymond Lavin noted that an external auditor had audited the company's accounts.
This auditor expressed concern in relation to the company's ability to continue as a going concern.
The company recorded a deficit of €109,000 in 2011 and this rose to €115,000 in 2012.
Councillors were presented with the report on the Borough Council's finances in advance of yesterday's (Monday) County Council meeting.
It also revealed that collection yields had decreased significantly from rates, rents and housing loans.
Rates arrears went from €3.284 million in 2011 to €3.658 million in 2012.
Housing loan arrears rose by €12,000 to €192,000.
The auditor noted that a "robust collection procedure" was in place for rates but a yield of 61`% was weak and "needs to be improved."
Then County Manager Hubert Kearns replied that the arrears were directly linked to the severity of the recession and the inability of customers to pay.
He said: "The rates collection team work on a one-to-one basis with struggling businesses to tailor payment plans to try to meet their needs and have adopted a practical and supportive approach as much as possible."
The report further showed there are outstanding development contributions of €625,000.
The Council had a deficit of €266,000 for the year.
This brought the the closing balance for the year to €2.102 million which the auditor said was "a serious matter for the Council to address."
In response, Mr Kearns said the €266,000 income shortfall came mainly from a fall in parking charges, parking fines and planning fees.
He said a review was ongoing in relation to parking fines and parking meter income.
The Council's long-term loans amounted to €42.476 million by year's end.
The Borough Council has since been scrapped under Local Government reforms but one more final auditor's report for 2013 will be due this time next year.