Extra funding is needed for north Kilkenny roads

€288,000 for the county is just not adequate

Sian Moloughney

Reporter:

Sian Moloughney

Email:

sian.moloughney@kilkennypeople.ie

Several areas in the Castlecomer district are hoping to benefit under the 2019 CLAR programme grants.
The programme aims to aid areas experiencing depopulation.


At the recent meeting of Castlecomer Municipal District Committee area engineer Philippe Beubry set out his plans.
He told councillors he has applied for €50,000 to construct a car park in Muckalee. He has also applied for €50,000 for footpaths in Crosspatrick.

Mr Beubry said he is also hoping to get funding for flashing speed signs outside schools in the area. The signs were first installed in 2002 and most are now giving trouble and will need to be replaced.


Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh asked when the grants would be known and was told in May.


Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick said the money would be well spent and school safety was paramount.


Councillors also discussed funding for the area under the Local Improvement Scheme, under which funding of €288,000 has been allocated.
The scheme provides funding to assist councils carry out improvement works on private and non-publicly maintained roads. Often these roads lead to multiple residences, parcels of land that support agricultural activity or to amenities.


Castlecomer councillors were unhappy with the level of funding with Cllr Mary Hilda Cavanagh saying north Kilkenny has more cul de sacs than other areas so should get more funding.


Cllr Pat Fitzpatrick said north Kilkenny has more badly damaged lanes than other areas and should be entitled to a bigger proportion of funding. North Kilkenny needs “a couple of million” euro to sort this out.


Chairman Michael McCarthy agreed they area needed “far more funding.”


Cllr John Brennan pointed out the councillors made a strong case for Mr Beubry to go back and ask for extra funding.


Cllr Maurice Shortall said the list of roads that need work under the Local Improvement Scheme is now so long that if you are at the end of it then it will be 11 years before you see work done.


Councillors considered a proposal from Cllr Cavanagh which highlighted the need for more funding for the Local Improvement Scheme .
Cllr Cavanagh spoke at length on her proposal and following the meeting said: “I am pleased that councillors agreed with my proposal that we write to Minister Ring to highlight the need for an increase in the grant to County Kilkenny.
“Given the scale of the projects to be tackled in Kilkenny, the allocation of just over €288,000 for the county is just not adequate because of the very high proportion of cul de sac lanes in north Kilkenny.
“The second allocation alone last year was in excess of €360,000 and we need similar funding this year.
“We have over 30 unsurfaced lanes that require funding under the LIS while close to 50 lanes are on the Community Involvement Scheme list in North Kilkenny.
“Poor surfacing can make these lanes unsafe for the families that have to use them daily as they become unsuitable for vehicular traffic and even for children on their bicycles.”


Cllr Cavanagh said it was important to recognise the importance and benefit of other grant schemes from Minister Ring’s Department, in particular the CLÁR funding that Kilkenny has received to date.
CLÁR provides funding for small scale capital projects in rural areas that have experienced significant levels of depopulation and support investments such as improvement in parochial hall facilities, play areas for children, traffic calming measures around schools, public lighting and support for emergency responders. Cllr Cavanagh said: “Last year’s CLÁR funding made a big difference to small villages all over north Kilkenny.