Friday 19 July 2019

Full steam ahead for town's BIDS proposal

A Town Manager is part of a BIDS plan for Drogheda
A Town Manager is part of a BIDS plan for Drogheda

Francis Carroll

A proposal to establish a Business Improvement District (BID) Scheme in Drogheda has moved to the next stage.

At the June meeting of Louth County Council on Monday, director of service Frank Pentony said all 38 submissions received had been positive and expressed support for the BIDS proposal.

The next stage is for the BIDS company to forward to the council, within 60 days of the 30 May, 2019 closing date for submissions, a written confirmation to have the BIDS proposal to proceed to a ratepayer plebiscite.

Within 60 days of receiving this confirmation requesting the holding of a plebiscite, the council will hold a plebiscite to determine the level of support for the proposal among ratepayers of rateable properties in the proposed BID, though Mr Pentony pointed out it will happen quicker than that.

Where a majority of ratepayers who vote are in favour, the scheme will be returned to members of Louth County Council to pass a resolution approving the scheme.

It requires at least one-third of total members (10) to give it the green light.

Among the views expressed in the submissions were that the town needs life injected into it, BIDS will pull together the ratepayers and bring Drogheda to a new level, BIDS will provide funding for areas outside the remit of Louth County Council, the potential to use empty/derelict properties for co-working spaces, the town centre needs a manager with passion to look after the issues affecting the town centre, BIDS will enable Drogheda to be re-branded as a vibrant tourist-friendly town.

Furthermore, it is believed BIDS will bring investment and much-needed regeneration to the town; and promote and improve the trading environment of the area and make Drogheda a greater place to work, live and socialise.

Now is a good time for the establishment of a BIDS following the success of the Fleadh, the submissions continue, while it will give businesses an input into making improvements and identifying other improvements to encourage shoppers back into town.

Substantial revenue for a number of projects will be made available under the scheme, communication between similar industries can be developed via the BIDS and the removal of graffiti and weeds along building parapets can be tackled in an organised fashion.

In her report to Monday's meeting, senior executive officer Colette Moss noted: 'Having considered the submissions received, I am of the opinion that the scheme is appropriate and does not conflict in a material way with the interests of the local community.

Drogheda Independent