Red light on hoped-for Greenway Govt monies

Kieran Foley Reports
greenway
WATERFORD City & County Council’s CEO has reaffirmed that expected Government funding of around €5 million for the Waterford Greenway will not materialise.
He was speaking at last week’s November plenary meeting of Waterford City & County Council when questions were asked about the funding shortfall for the amenity which had been reported in last week’s Munster Express.

Waterford City & County Council had expected to receive between €4 million and €5 million for the amenity from Government funds as a result of an application made with the Department of Transport.
While other separate funding of smaller amounts has been awarded in the past, this four to five million (which Councillors believed would be forthcoming) has not been awarded.
Some future capital projects in Waterford are now at risk because of this funding shortfall for the Waterford Greenway.

Cllr Eddie Mulligan (FF) raised the issue at last week’s meeting, with Director of Economic Development and Planning Lar Power replying that he understood further Greenway funding may be available in the future.
However, Cllr Davy Daniels (Ind) sought information as to why the Council’s application with the Department of Transport for four to five million had not been successful.
He raised concerns over the shortfall in funding which this has caused and asked what went wrong, adding that there is now a “massive gap”.

Cllr Daniels asked how this was allowed to happen and if the Minister had given any “excuse” as to why the funding wasn’t delivered for Waterford.
In response, CEO Michael Walsh said he had already been “very explicit” on the issue.
He said the Council was not successful with its application and this has resulted in a shortfall in the order of €5 million. “I’ve been clear,” he said. “It’s been on the front of the paper this week and I have nothing further to add.”

Meanwhile, Cllr Pat Fitzgerald (SF) sought information on funding for the maintenance of the amenity and if this would come from the Council’s roads budget or if extra funding would be allocated to the local authority from central government.
In response, Lar Power said it is the responsibility of Waterford City & County Council to maintain the Waterford Greenway.

Director of Services Fergus Galvin added that there had been an additional allocation in the Council’s 2017 budget to take account of this maintenance and this would be increased slightly for 2018.
However, he pointed out that there is no grant aid available and that the costs fall on Waterford City & County Council.

Cllr Fitzgerald again asked if there would be any increase in funding for roads from central government which could cover the Greenway maintenance.
“Council management have admitted that we don’t have enough in the roads budget to maintain roads to the present standard. Now we have the Greenway to maintain as well,” he said.
Fergus Galvin reiterated that the Council would increase its own allocation for the maintenance of the Greenway but said there is no other source of funding available.

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