Comeragh District Briefs

Robbie Byrne reports

No ‘middle ground’ for ‘toxic’ estate
An update has been sought on a debacle between Irish Water and the receivers of Crougháun View, Kilmacthomas, in relation to an open septic tank.
Speaking at the February Comeragh District meeting of Waterford City & County Council, Cllr Declan Clune (SF) claimed that the estate, which is cut-off from a mains supply, is serviced by a septic tank without protective fencing.
“At one point, there was a boundary fence constructed to keep the area secure, but over time the fence has fallen into a state of disrepair. The area is now a prominent dumping ground and has evidence of vermin, which pose a safety risk to children who play in the area,” Cllr Clune explained.
In response to Cllr Clune, Senior Planner John O’Mahony agreed that while the issue was of paramount concern, there was an “impasse between the estate’s receiver and Irish Water.”
“We are in constant discussion with the estate’s receiver,” added O’Mahony. “Unfortunately, the receiver has their own agenda, which is to sell the estate. We’ve worked hard over the past few months to find a middle ground and failed. Perhaps the crux is that there is a considerable amount of work to be carried out for the sewage system to become fully operational.”

‘Three Year Wait’ for road restoration

Executive Engineer Eamonn Lonergan said that there will be a “three year wait before Waterford City & County Council’s Comeragh District roads return to pre-Winter conditions”
Responding to a motion put forward by Cllr Michael J O’Ryan (FF), concerning the condition of roads in the locality, Mr. Lonergan stated that “his priority is to improve regional roads first.”
An animated Cllr O’Ryan responded by revealing that the Comeragh District received €7 million in road funding for 2016 from central government, as opposed to the €19 million requested.
“We’ve well and truly been placed at the bottom of the pile” said Cllr O’Ryan, before Cllr Liam Brazil weighed in on the matter: “How can we have tourists coming to the region in the summer months with roads as bad as they are now? It will be an embarrassment.”
Moving away from the reduced budget, Cllr. O’Ryan condemned the continued use of a jetpatcher to maintain road surfaces.
“We all like the sound of velocity jetpatcher,” said Cllr O’Ryan. “It sounds fancy, but does it work? I’d argue not.”
“If we’re taking huge chunks out of our budget for such machinery, we have to make sure they work,” he said.
Responding to these claims, Eamonn Lonergan conceded that on a day to day basis, a self-contained unit would be the best approach,” later confirming that the district will have “its own combi-unit in the coming weeks to tackle the pothole issue.”

Second Bottle Bank for Portlaw

Cllr Mary Butler (FF), who welcomed news of a second bottle bank for Portlaw.

Cllr Mary Butler (FF), who welcomed news of a second bottle bank for Portlaw.

A second bottle bank is to be erected in Portlaw following a motion put forward by Cllr Mary Burke (FF).
Speaking to the chamber, Cllr Butler claimed that the current bottle bank, which was moved to Portlaw’s hurling field on a temporary basis in 2014, was “the dirtiest I’ve come across during my six months of (general election) canvassing.
In response, Director of Services Fergus Galvin stated that his department was “fully committed to a second and permanent bottle bank,” adding that a new location in close proximity to Portlaw Church had been agreed.
An exact date of completion was not given, however it is expected to “get over the line” in the coming months.

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