Updated: 30/10/12 : 05:55:16Printable Version
Sligo is to lose €4.7million of government grants because the County Council is unable to provide its portion of funding for the water mains replacement scheme in Sligo town.
Earlier this month the County Manager Mr Hubert Kearns said that the County Council would be unable to make the local contribution for the scheme and that the Council was seeking 100% funding from the Department.
However in response to a parliamentary question from the United Left Alliance T.D. Joan Collins, in the Dail last week, the Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan said “there is no scope under the current arrangements for my Department to provide 100% funding to Sligo County Council for this scheme”.
Minister Hogan said in February he had approved the proposal to carry out the watermains replacement works. However, he said that in March the Council wrote to his Department setting out the difficulties in funding its 10% contribution of approximately €467,000 for the scheme.
Speaking to Sligo Today
Cllr Declan Bree said “Where else but in Sligo could we witness such a scenario. Here we have the government offering grants of almost €5million for projects that are badly needed but due to ongoing ineptitude and mismanagement the Council is unable to avail of the funding.
“The Department indicated that it was prepared to provide a grant of €500,000 for the planned enhancement and paving of O’Connell Street, and a grant of €4.2 million for the replacement of water mains in the main street and other streets in the town. In addition to the significant improvements, these schemes would also have provided badly needed employment. All the funding is now being lost to Sligo and will be taken up by other Councils who manage their budgets prudently.
“The Department is prepared to provide 90% funding for the replacement of mains because they point out that a significant quantity of treated high quality drinking water is being lost from the system every day. In Sligo 45% of drinking water is unaccounted for.
“It costs the County Council €1.4 million a year to treat water at the Foxes Den and Kilsellagh plants. Unfortunately much of this costly high quality drinking water is wasted because of leakage and pipework corrosion. What is the logic in paying out €1.4million a year to treat water while failing to come up with a once off contribution of €467,000 to replace the leaking mains? The fact is that Sligo is losing out in every way. If ever evidence was required to show that the County Council is a basket case surely this is it.” said Cllr Bree.