Castro Marim announces largest budget since 2013

Castro Marim has set aside €27 million for 2024 budget 

The Municipal Council of Castro Marim has announced a €27 million budget for 2024, its largest budget since 2013.

In a statement to the press, the local authority says the budget will focus on “structural measures and projects to improve residents’ life quality and make the municipality more attractive for new families, investments and businesses.”

As Castro Marim deputy mayor Filomena Sintra explains, the municipal budget has been growing every year despite the borough’s “difficulties in generating revenue to support it.”

“The challenges to local government are increasingly greater, both due to tight legislation and the exponential increase in costs resulting from new obligations,” the deputy mayor said, stressing that the municipality is heavily dependent on tax revenue.

Some of the major projects planned for 2024 include the first phase of renovations of Castro Marim’s water infrastructures, improvements to the local health centre, and the revamp of Rua da Alagoa in Altura. The council adds that it has already applied for funding for these projects via Portugal’s Recovery and Resilience Plan.

Other major projects in the pipeline include the implementation of the Local Housing Strategy, which encompasses the creation of “decent housing” for 109 families, the construction of controlled-cost apartments,, and the conservation of existing housing for “families that, although not vulnerable, cannot access housing due to the national real estate situation.”

Castro Marim will also charge the “minimum legal Property Tax (IM) rate” and implement the “maximum discount on Family IMI” in a bid to attract more families to the municipality, one of the ones most affected by desertification in the Algarve.

The municipality’s focus will also be on the “creation of stable and qualified employment and the growth of the local economy, currently boosted by the development of large projects (Verdelago, Eco Hotel da Maravelha, or Cannprisma – medicinal cannabis plantation and exploration), and the promotion of others (Supermarket O Corvo, Octant Hotels Praia Verde, Eurotel, Restaurants “O Grupo Infante”).

“Another decisive investment” is planned for the borough’s solid waste collection and urban cleaning, with a renewed investment in hiring more workers and investing in new vehicles.  The first routes for the collection of biodegradable waste will also be implemented in 2024, the council adds.

2024 will also be the year in which several major projects are expected to be completed, such as the ‘Plano de Pormenor Nº1 de Altura’ (Altura’s Detailed Plan), the irrigation network of Várzea de Odeleite, the Cycling Path of EN125-6, and the renovation of Largo do Cabeço in the town of Castro do Marim.

Last but not least, the council will also focus on civil protection in 2024, with its commitment to supporting the Vila Real de Santo António and Castro Marim firefighters and the project to build a new GNR police station in Castro Marim, for which the local council has expressed its willingness to to provide the land for the station and lead the co-financing and construction procedures.

By Michael Bruxo

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