Tuesday 19 September 2017

'Self-cleaning' Spire's upkeep costs hit €2.1m

Edel Kennedy

THE cost of cleaning and maintaining the "self-cleaning" Spire has hit €2.1m.

The astonishing sum has been spent since the Spire was erected in 2003, and is almost half the €4.6m construction cost.

The huge sum will come as an embarrassment to Dublin City Council, which is cutting capital spending in areas such as social housing, roads, sports and cultural facilities by 50pc over the next three years.

The Spire -- nicknamed the 'Stiletto in the Ghetto' -- was originally touted as being 'self-cleaning' as it was designed to allow rain to flow off, taking any dirt with it. Indeed, because of this it is still believed to require less cleaning than it would otherwise.

However, an average of almost €225,000 has been spent on maintaining the structure each year between 2003 and 2011.

Figures obtained by the Irish Independent show that the largest sum was paid in 2007 when €435,432 was spent on cleaning and lighting repairs. Similar work costing €324,868 was carried out the following year.

Between January and April this year €86,681 was spent, although an element of this relates to work carried out last year.

A new contract has now been awarded to Aramark Property. The Dublin-based company will be paid €192,900 -- plus VAT -- over the coming three years for maintenance of "all structural, mechanical, electrical and communication equipment associated with the Spire of Dublin".

However, this sum does not include one-off cleaning costs which are expected to total an additional €240,000 over the same period. This means that by 2015, the cleaning and maintenance of the structure will total €2.54m.

The largest portion of the cleaning cost is the hiring of a lift to give workers access to the 2,000 white LED lights on top of the 120m structure.

Irish Independent

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