County Hall, Kilkenny.
There are fresh doubts over the feasibility of desilting of the King’s River in Callan, with more information now available regarding the type and quantity of the material.
The window to carry out works on the waterway is from July to September, and it was hoped the project would be shovel-ready by then. However, it has now emerged the scheme may be more complex and expensive than initially expected.
The issue was raised by Councillor Joe Lyons (Fine Gael) at the June meeting of the Callan-Thomastown Municipal District.
Director of services Mary Mulholland said that the original proposal was to desilt the river, but engineers who had looked at it now had a lot more information in terms of what material would be taken out and how much of it.
“There are serious issues to consider with that project. We need to look at what we can do and what is desirable to do,” she said.
Funding of €76,000 was secured for the scheme, but Ms Mulholland warned “the cost of works will be far in excess of that. We are waiting to get all of that information finalised”.
Ms Mulholland stressed that the removal of material from the river was a clean-up, rather than flood related. She said desilting a river was now “a far more complicated process than it used to be”. This is because there are now multiple waste categories — which requires sampling — and there are a variety of means of extracting different materials, and different means of disposing each at various locations.
There are a vast amount of rules and regulations dealing with planning and the environment which involve the Office of Public Works, Inland Fisheries Ireland and the Department of the Environment.
Members are awaiting the final reports.