Lar Power, Chief Executive of Leitrim County Council.
“It’s going to be a very tough year,” admitted Leitrim County Council Chief Executive, Lar Power at the first meeting of local authority members since the Covid-19 lockdown began.
The meeting, held online on Monday, May 5, included an update on the status of the council and the work that had been done to ensure the continuation of services throughout the pandemic.
Addressing the meeting, Mr Power acknowledged that businesses are “very fearful” for the future.
“They don’t know what impact social distancing rules will have on them. There are businesses out there that may not be able to reopen,” he said.
He said that the local authority has not remained unscathed by the pandemic and dealing with the crisis, while ensuring that staff are working safely and services continue to be delivered, “has been challenging” he admitted.
Mr Power said that the final impact of the pandemic on finances for Leitrim County Council are still unknown.
“The reality is that if we, Leitrim County Council, don’t manage this well, we will be down a lot of money,” he told members.
“We must ensure at all costs that we do not have an over expenditure this year. We are expecting an altered operating environment for the rest of the year and so there will be some operating expenses which won’t arise but at the same time there are other significant costs as a result of Covid-19.”
Mr Power said that the Revenue Account in Leitrim County Council is already overspent by €260,000 at the moment.
“We can’t have a worsening of that,” he admitted.